• Hatch Quarter is based in Melbourne's Docklands area. (SBS)Source: SBS
With refugee and migrant entrepreneurs being twice as likely as locals to be successful entrepreneurs, one Melbourne start-up is tapping into their market.
Mridula Amin

SBS Small Business Secrets
10 Aug 2018 - 11:38 AM  UPDATED 10 Oct 2018 - 4:14 PM

Docklands based Hatch Quarter is a start-up incubator that offers entrepreneurs a co-working space, and a chance to network.

Brothers Aiman and Mo Hamdouna, launched the business in 2015 to cater specifically to refugee and migrants businesses.

This target-market is making Hatch Quarter stand out in the saturated co-working space industry.

“Our specific target market is, what we call the international entrepreneurs,” says Aiman.

“Those are migrants and refugees, the people who just came here to Australia.

“We chose this target market because it resonated with our own background.”

The sons of Palestinian refugees, Aiman and Mo grew up in Jordan before arriving in Australia to study English.

It was their first-hand experience of building a business from scratch as migrants, that drives their passion to help other migrant and refugee entrepreneurs.

“We’re building this community, a community we lacked when we first came here.”

“Hopefully we can help them accelerate their entrepreneur journey.”

Hatch Quarter’s focus on refugee and migrant businesses gained them recognition from the Victorian State Government.

The start-up was rewarded a $71,500 grant from LaunchVic (a Victorian State Government initiative fueling the startup ecosystem).

For CEO, Dr. Kate Cornick, migrants, and refugee owner-operators have great potential to grow the industry.

“We know that migrants and refugees are twice as likely to be successful entrepreneurs as people that are local,” says Dr. Cornick

“They are great risk takers – they have already taken the leap to move countries.”

The grant allowed Hatch Quarter to take the business to the next level.

They offer ongoing monthly meetings where their over 3000 members can come and learn about hard to access information.

“The last event we had was about the law and the startup industry," Aiman explains. 

"It’s a really sensitive subject for new migrants and refugees as they don’t know where to get this information,” 

“We invited lawyers and successful entrepreneurs to go through the legal requirements and process. The community gave us amazing feedback.”

Hatch Quarter shows no signs of slowing down. Their aim is to work with 60 startups over the next five years to build a strong bridge between Australia and the international start-up industry.

The incubator already offers a pre-accelerator course for new businesses, as well as general consulting services. 

 “Our pre-accelerator course focuses on the early stage of the idea, we call it the ideation stage and the consulting is to work with seed stage startups,” Aiman explains.

10 startups so far have gone through the pre-accelerator course, with Hatch Quarter working with three at a time.

They hope to continue to unlock the potential of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to reshape the Australian start-up industry.

Watch this story at the top of the page, or catch the full episode on SBS On Demand.