The first-ever entrepreneurs boot camp for migrants held in Auckland last week had attracted significant attention from everyone, prompting organisers to come up with more such events in the near future. 

Conceived and organised by Migrant Careers Support Trust, a non-profit charitable trust with the purpose of helping migrants settle into mainstream careers in New Zealand, the Boot Camp attracted rich participation from more than 30 participants, pointing towards the underlying entrepreneurial aspirations within the migrant communities. 

Attended by participants belonging to various ethnicities, the boot camp was aimed at new or settled migrants who wanted to set up their own business and were unsure of where to start. It was also aimed at new entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who wanted a refresher in navigating the ins and outs of running a new business. 

Garry Gupta, Founder of Migrant Careers Support Trust, speaking about the boot camp, said, This idea was born from the various conversations I had with people who attended our Job Seekers boot camp in the past. Some of them were finding it difficult to get jobs that suited their skill level or had excellent business ideas but were clueless about where to start. As we try to help migrants become economically independent, we set out to educate these aspiring entrepreneurs and provide them with a platform to learn from the expertise of other business leaders.” 

The two-day workshop brought together trained experts and industry leaders who shared their insights into launching and running a business. Questions often faced by aspiring entrepreneurs were covered in this Boot Camp, with the first day focusing on the financial aspects of running a business. 

The highlight of the Boot Camp was ‘first-time speaker’, Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala, CEO and Founder, Sudima Hotels, who talked about his 20-year journey in New Zealand. His guest talk focused on his business ethos, wherein he inspired the participants with his commitment to sustainability and travelling off the beaten track. He left the attendees with a message - “No matter how crowded your space is, create a space and own your niche.”

Expressing her excitement about speaking at the boot camp, Ashima Singh, Director, Legal Associates and trustee of Migrant Careers, said,” It is always a good experience providing guidance to people who are serious about starting a business. At Legal Associate, we believe in providing education to various communities, and that was one of the main reasons behind conducting this presentation. It was a good experience for me personally as well – to know different people and understand what they are looking for. As migrants, we understand what others are going through, so we were keen to make this idea into a reality as soon as it was conceptualised. It really was a privilege to be a part of this first of its kind migrant entrepreneurs boot camp.”

Cassandra Lee, Senior Manager, Migrant Business and Community Development of ANZ Bank, which was one of the main sponsors of the Boot Camp, said, “At ANZ, our purpose is to shape a world where people and communities thrive. The Entrepreneurs Boot Camp, organised by the Migrant Careers Support Trust, is in line with this as it is providing a meaningful and expert platform for migrants to rely on. We received some great feedback from the session, where participants found it to be helpful and informative. Personally, I quite enjoyed the mix of ethnicities at the Boot Camp, which shows that this Boot Camp has connected across demographics.”

This initiative was also supported by the Ministry of Business & Innovation and the Office of Ethnic Communities and held at the ANZ premises in Sylvia Park.