On my way from the bus stop to the Carman’s headquarters in Huntingdale, there is the Migrant Women in Business event, the perfect opportunity to network, find out what migrant women are doing in Melbourne and to meet in person, virtuality allows many things, but nothing like the energy that will be generated there today. I approach the place and perfectly identify where it is because I see women with their trolleys, impeccably dressed for the occasion, taking their merchandise to this expo where they can sell their products and talk about them. On the tables I could see hats, clothing accessories, beauty products, cooking spice mixes, pantry essentials, sauce class brochures, photography brochures, as well as different Arabic food and chilli sauce. In general, the range is as wide as the diversity of its attendees. And most importantly, the beautiful energy that fills the room, it is impossible to enter and not smile. The Carman’s Kitchen space is spacious and has a new infrastructure. There is a lot of movement in this room today. I realise how the entrepreneurs already know each other, happily greet each other from afar, and others go directly to hug their colleagues. Each one prepares their table, puts her white tablecloth or the colour of the brand, and places her products in the best way so that customers receive all the affection and love that they put into their businesses every day, because today they not only exhibit the material side, migrant women in business will also expose their history and personal motivations to the public.
The opening of the event begins with Luz Restrepo, she is the first in this teamwork race, in her speech she emphasises that 70% of migrant businesses in australia are led by men, she says: “we are here and we are going to work to close that gap”, a powerful message that empowers the crowd and elicits applause and cheers. She takes welcomes the people who attend, the entrepreneurs, thanks the owner “of the house”, Carolyn Cresswell, CEO of Carman’s and among other authorities, the minister of employment and small businesses of Victoria, Jaala Pulford, who talked about the migrant powerforce and how inspired she felt in the event. The event has been divided into two blocks of presentations where the 19 entrepreneurs will tell their story in three minutes, how they came to be entrepreneurs, what they expect from their businesses and why it is important to support migrant women in business. The participants come from 10 countries, including: Taiwan, Japan, Turkey, India, Syria, Uganda, Colombia, Chile, all united this time under the banner of migration, resilience and entrepreneurship. And it feels like an area without borders, where we are all equal, we all have the same rights, and where the majority have shared a similar path when raising their projects. This connection goes beyond race, skin colour, cultural or work background -respect, skills, sharing, knowing, learning, enjoying, around entrepreneurship, migration, pursuing your dreams- prevails here. This connection is about dreams, about to build a better society and to feel seen, to feel validated for society through their passions. I see women with a strong spirit, with a brave attitude, facing their fears and their cultural limitations, they are women who take action in a colonised world. Women who sow hope and get down to work to generate their own opportunities, they do not “expect” to change the world, they are doing it, they do not want a little attention, they want it all. Migrant women in business are active actors in society, they stir our consciences in this world of egos, where migrant women in business stand humbly and with the generosity of exchanging the dedication and love with which they develop their products. The invitation is to get to know their projects and acquire their products, it is the way we have to contribute and receive the love they put into their endeavours. To meet them, you can attend the Market in Maldon Winter from 10am to 4pm on June 9, where Migrant Women in Business will again expose the display of powerful women who defy stereotypes and change the world with their resilience.