Migrant Women and Small Business: Way of Life or a Choice?

By Narayan Gopalkrishnan and Mitra Khakbaz.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The data on the characteristics of the small business(2001) reports that
there are approximately 264,700 small businesses in Queensland and women
comprise 96,400 of these operators. There is anecdotal evidence of
ethnic women being engaged in small business in a range of operations
including food, tourism and retail. They contribute significantly to the
economy through their business operations and make use of their cultural
skills to promote their business whether it is in restaurants or in
clothing. The Commonwealth and State Governments have introduced the
notion of “productive diversity” which is concerned with capitalising on
the cultural assets of our nation to promote economic growth- through a
diverse workforce, niche markets, specialist small business and
exporting. This paper is based on a research project aiming at
identifying the diversity of the businesses managed by women from
diverse cultural backgrounds. It will also outline and identify the
barriers and challenges experienced by migrant women in particular the
presence of racism and its negative impacts.

Keywords: Migration, Migant Women, Small Business, Productive Diversity, Racism, Sexism

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.1-6. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 509.893KB).

Narayan Gopalkrishnan

Director, Centre for Multicultural and Community Development, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Narayan Gopalkrishnan is the Founding Director of the Center for Multicultural and Community Development (CMCD), a research center of the University of the Sunshine Coast. CMCD focuses on research, training and consultancies around a range of issues in the areas impacting on multiculturalism and community development. As well as being the Director of CMCD, Narayan is currently the coordinator of the Bachelor of Social Science (Community Work) Degree as well as being a lecturer in Community Work subjects.

Narayan has extensive work experience in Australia and overseas in working on issues of diversity, cross-cultural development, aid and human development policy and program and service development, leadership and organisational change. Narayan has been working with refugees, migrants and indigenous people. He has been training, managing projects, teaching and researching for over 20 years in Australia and overseas

Mitra Khakbaz

Coordinator, Centre for Multicultural and Community Development , Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs/ Mooroochydore, Queensland, Australia

Mitra Khakbaz is the Coordinator of Centre for Multicultural and Community Development. Mitra has undertaken numerous research, communication and training project. Community Engagement with CALD Communities- This was a Queensland wide project that identified the barriers that CALD communities face in participating in government processes and in receiving information about government programs and services. The project identified strategies for improved practice in community engagement and consultation strategies for culturally and linguistically diverse communities. The project involved consultations with selected ethnic communities. CALD Women’s Engagement Project- This project focused on identifying the barriers that women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities faced in accessing government programs and services. It identified strategies to improve their communication, information and mechanisms to better inform CALD women. The project covered consultations with selected ethnic communities. ¡ Effectiveness of Settlement Services- This project aims to identify the patterns and issues on the settlement progress of humanitarian entrants during their early years in Australia in order to better target outcome focused settlement services that assist the entrants to achieve full and active participation in Australian society. Key areas of the project include settlement information,, access to settlement programs and services, community participation and family-social life. The project covers NSW, Vic, Qld and SA and has been undertaken in partnership with Victoria University of Technology. Other projects Mitra has been involved with include: § Multicultural Family and Community Development Project § Examining the contribution to social and physical capital by ethnic communities, particularly contribution to built up environment § CALD women in Small Business- § CALD Women’s Participation Project § Volunteer Training and Development Project § Youth Leadership Training Projec § Multicultural Sector Development and Training Project Mitra has designed and delivered numerous training programs were undertaken for a range of participants and included professional development for the community sector and government. The key areas of training delivered included: § Cross cultural communication § Migrant employment issues § Advocacy and empowerment § Migration and settlement § Cross cultural human service delivery § Parenting and child protection § Leadership and groupwork


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