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Welcome to iGen Foundation
We are a registered charity with a commitment to cultivating entrepreneurship by young people, migrants and people in regional communities.
We believe that self-employment, particularly for people in groups or areas experiencing high unemployment, can lead to self-determination, a sense of belonging and intercultural networks, a focus on the future and economic ripple effects felt for many generations to come.
Our work in the area of intercultural innovation in Australia is unique and is applied to all our projects and activities. It's our mission to ensure that people have the greatest opportunity to meet people of different ages, genders, cultures, nationalities, religions, languages and any other 'differences' we may see in each other. The more we meet people who are 'not like us,' the more we will innovate to solve diverse problems, feel accepted, more trusting and less afraid of others.
Over the years we've worked with more than a hundred not for profit organisations to help build collective and individual governance capability, organisational strategic plans - especially in the area of board and staff recruitment diversity - and policies and procedures.
Good not-for-profit governance is critical to well functioning organisations which meet the needs of the people they were established to serve.
Overseas-born people are an untapped resource. Their qualifications, skills, experience, background, knowledge, and in-community and international networks are often disregarded in Australia.
For many migrants, multiple barriers exist to employment and despite their backgrounds, are often provided minimum wage, entry level roles.
The post-settlement traditional pathways are similar to those offered to young people - education, employment and training regardless of English proficiency, personal agency, experiences of trauma and commensurate mental health consequences.
We believe that by adding the option of business ownership, migrants have the ability to create their own employment without the problems arising from a lack of recognition of qualifications or experience and without the need for a high level of English proficiency.
In 2021, iGen Foundation designed an innovative Startup program for migrants.
Keeping it in the Family is the first program of its kind in Australia - we're focusing on migrant families AND we're running startup programs in languages other than English.
We hope many more organisations become innovative and follow our lead.
2022 - for Spanish speaking people born overseas
2022 - for English speaking people born overseas
2023 - for Arabic speaking people born overseas
2023 - for Mandarin speaking people born overseas
We believe that education, employment and training are critical pathways to successful and happy lives for young people, however, they are not the only options.
We believe that owning a business is a noble and legitimate post-school outcome and allows young people to create the future they want.
We believe business ownership increases young people's economic contribution to Australia and can be undertaken regardless of language, faith, cultural, ability, gender, offending, homelessness or other background that may result in long term social disadvantage from stigmatisation or unemployment.
We believe business ownership creates a socially inclusive life for young people.
Hear from our Director, Frank Wyatt as he discusses the benefits of youth entrepreneurship as part the Business Essentials Daily podcast series.
YourMentor is a program that matches a successful business owner with a young, migrant or regional business owner who needs a mentor to help them grow their business .
Through the very generous donation of time by our mentors, iGen Foundation has supported more than 300 businesses with more than 160 mentors.
For more information about how to become a mentor, check out YourMentor.
Interculturalism is the practice of building meaningful relationships between individuals, families and communities from different cultural, language and faith backgrounds. This includes First Nations people, people born overseas and people from the dominant culture.
Intercultural societies are resilient societies which take full social, economic and political advantage of their diversity.
For more information about the Council of Europe's Intercultural Cities Program, please go here.
Advance the capability of young entrepreneurs and innovators in Australia. Our expertise extends to the provision of entrepreneurship programs to migrants and people in regional communities.
Advance the building of sustainable, harmonious culturally diverse communities, practices and processes leveraging intercultural innovation in Australia.
Advance good governance and impact of not-for-profit organisations in Australia.
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