Engineering a Koshari business


Nearly one third of small businesses in Australia are operated by people born overseas. While some find it challenging to enter the workforce because of language or local experience barriers, many use their entrepreneurial spirit to find new opportunities.

 Koshari is Middle-Eastern comfort food, a mix of pasta, rice, lentils, chickpeas, fried onion and tomato sauce.

It's something Walid El Sabbagh is hoping Australia will love.

"I, doing Egyptian traditional food, it's name is Koshari, my name is Koshari Korner, this (is the) first Koshari in Sydney. This (is) very popular in Egypt, is in every corner, every street."

Walid launched his new business venture at Sydney's Eid Commune Middle Eastern Night Markets last week but food wasn't his first passion.

Back in Egypt, he's a qualified marine engineer.

He moved to Australia over a year ago but couldn't find work in his profession.

"I have already five year experience but I don't find any job here because everyone want local experience but I worked in an international company, United Arab Shipping Company, a very very big company, but I don't find any job."

He was put in touch with the NSW Government's Small Biz Connect team and spoke with adviser Ghassan Nehme.

"One of my approach to people like Walid, when they come here, they're educated, well educated in their country, they come in here either because they have language barriers or skill barriers or local experience barriers, they found it hard to get into the same line of work, so one of the things I asked is what is one of the things you would like to do? Walid happened to like making food."

Ghassan, through the Small Biz Connect program, gave Walid a helping hand.

"We got them to do an ABN number, to do the food safety supervisory role, and registrations in terms of registration with the government, also we got some insurance for him, public liability, so he's ready to rock and roll and one of the things we work on specifically is to finalise his menu himself, and now he's ready."

Walid has plans to set up market stalls in other locations, and eventually have a stall on wheels.

 "A food truck from Koshari from everywhere, to every corner in Sydney and after finish Sydney another city, Melbourne and after finish Australia, another country."

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