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Here's What Running A Small Business In Australia Looks Like

It's time to celebrate those who truly make Australia the lucky country.

One in three Aussie small businesses are run by migrants, so it's time to shine a light on the entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity and went for it. Here are five enterprising migrants and their stories.

1. Reza Keshavarzi, cofounder of WipeHero

Reza Keshavarzi / Via Twitter: @WipeHero

Some things in life are simple to get started – just add water. Iranian-born Reza Keshavarzi thought differently when it came to his innovation in waterless car-washing technology. Keshavarzi has been kept very busy in the six years he has been in Australia, starting two businesses, getting his PHD, and being a Harvard University fellow. The business works smartly so we can put down the squeegee and open the WipeHero app. What makes WipeHero work is that it's part invention, part job-share service, all innovation. WipeHero specialists go to the booked destination, use their biodegradable water-free spray, and leave cars looking squeaky clean. " We have created a solution for a smarter future so that you never have to worry about your car being clean. It just happens. We can wash your car anywhere, anytime," Keshavarzi says. WipeHero currently employs around 30 people, and as popularity of the service grows, so does the opportunity to create more job opportunities while staying "green".

2. Emily Downs, founder of Wanting Collection

Emily Downs / Via

What started as a market stall, Emily Downs' passion project and business Wanting Collection has definitely left Sydney fashionistas wanting. When she isn't in her Newtown store, Downs is scouring the globe for eclectic clothes and accessories that reflect her love for all things colourful and her belief that fashion is for everyone. Downs' Chinese heritage has inspired her enterprising spirit in a unique way. Her Chinese name translates to Wanting, and she decided it would be a "great name for a future project". Downs maintains one simple philosophy for success: "Dream big, it will happen, it must!"

3. Kay Nyenuh, founder of Muscle Garden Health & Fitness Centre

Kay Nyenuh / Via

When Kay Nyenuh emigrated to Mackay, Australia, in 2009, he saw an opportunity to create change in his community – not just by establishing a thriving health and fitness centre but also by dispelling assumptions around diversity and mental health. As a Liberian refugee opening a small business, Nyenuh presents himself as a positive example in the community and an advocate for healthy body and mind.

Nyenuh puts his motivations simply: “I have come to realise as a refugee ... it doesn't matter where you are in life right now, it doesn't matter; it matters where you want to be and how bad you really want to get there.”

4. Jean-Luc Tan, founder of Vive Cooking School

Jean-Luc Tan / Via

Jean-Luc Tan's family story is one that encapsulates the hard-working migrant experience: infusing the passed-down traditions of the love of cooking with entrepreneurial spirit in a new country. Fleeing Cambodia for France, Tan's parents worked hard to instill the value of a meal cooked with love and passion. His learned passion for food led him to establish Vive Cooking School in Sydney. His vision for the cooking school is to "empower individuals through the cooking and sharing of nourishing food with family and friends". Classes can range from small groups of two to corporate exercises. Whatever the reason, time to pop on an apron and get cooking!

5. Martine Baboin, director of French Class

Martine Baboin / Via

French expat Martine Baboin is passionate about her life goal to teach as many people as she can to speak French – and the proof is in the pudding! Baboin is the director and teacher of French Class, a French language centre run in the very picturesque Paddington, Sydney. She runs small workshops and one-on-one classes with her partner to ensure an intimate and fun learning environment. As a business model, her aim is to teach in a perfectly understated way rather than what's found in the larger language centres. In essence, the way Baboin teaches is oh so French, and oh so chic. À bientôt, Martine!

With 83% of migrant business owners starting business ventures after arriving to Australia, it's people like these that help unleash our entrepreneurial potential. CGU wants to help celebrate the migrant small businesses that make Australia the lucky country.

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