STARTING your own business is a challenging feat for most people.
It’s even more so when you’ve moved to a new country and English isn’t your first language.
When Ammy moved from India to Australia seven years ago and joined her husband Sagar Soman in starting an interior house cleaning business, the couple did not expect it would be easy working in this country.
“Before moving to Australia, I knew a little English but had not practiced speaking it in India, which meant I was not very confident talking to people,” said Ammy, who is based in Brisbane.
“Starting a business really helped me adjust and improve my English after moving here. A great help to us was our business coach who gave us a lot of guidance and support.
“More importantly, it helped us make new connections and break down a cultural barrier that stops many in our position from integrating with other Australians.
This is a topic that has recently been highlighted during August’s Queensland Multicultural Month – a time when culturally diverse citizens come together to acknowledge the great work migrants and refugees offer to Australia’s culture and prosperity.
“In our line of work there are marketing steps and one of those is to actually go out and speak with different people – this especially helped us meet new people and boosted our confidence.”
The couple now manage four employees and said their business had helped them develop their new way of life.
“Now that our business is expanding and we are taking on more employees, we have the flexibility to take time off to spend with our family and the friends we have made.
“We get to plan each day and decide when we can have a break.
“We also have the freedom to go away when it is required and feel at ease knowing that the business is in safe hands.
“We hope to continue growing a franchise and learning more about the marketing side of business too.”
According to Mike Dowling, who is a renowned Queensland philanthropist and businessman, starting a small business with the right support can be life changing.
“Of the 10.6 million people employed in the private non-financial sector in Australia, 42 per cent were employed by small businesses,” said Mike.
“I love the fact that my business, James’ Home Services is helping people from all walks of life, all backgrounds make a solid living.
“It’s been a real privilege to help Ammy and Sagar on their journey to becoming Australians – Australians who are making a real contribution to their community.”