IgniteAbility Impact


From 2017–2019, IgniteAbility® supported more than 100 people with disability, including 40 young people, 58 people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and refugee backgrounds and three people from the LGBTIQ+ community who were living with mental illness, physical, sensory and intellectual disability or autism. In less than three years, more than 45 businesses have been launched with the support of IgniteAbility®.

Full Report:

Established by Settlement Services International (SSI) in 2013, the Ignite® Small Business Start-ups program has been designed to assist recently arrived refugees and other newcomers to start up their own business or consolidate an existing one.

By 2018, the Ignite® program had assisted over 550 Sydney-based entrepreneurs with refugee backgrounds, launching more than 100 business ventures.

Drawing on the success of the Ignite® program, in 2017, SSI established its second business start-up program – IgniteAbility® Small Business Start-ups to facilitate business creation for people with disability.

SSI is a leader in disability reform, creating opportunities for people with disability to contribute in all aspects of life: economic, social and civic. ABS data highlights that people with disability have a higher rate of entrepreneurship than people without disability. As a result, SSI has developed a ground-breaking program that taps into an individual’s ambitions and motivations for a future of sustainable self-employment.

SSI recognises that meaningful employment is important in obtaining a stable, secure and independent future, as well as to an individual’s physical, mental and personal wellbeing and sense of belonging and identity.

The IgniteAbility® Small Business Start-up program is founded on SSI’s commitment to enhancing the social and economic participation of people living with physical, and intellectual disability or mental ill health. Referred individuals who are passionate about starting or expanding business are supported by specially trained IgniteAbility® facilitators.