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Westpac, Thrive $2 million partnership to help refugees start businesses

Westpac and Thrive, a refugee micro-financing charity, have announced a $2 million partnership to help refugees start successful businesses.

The bank has also seconded a Chief Operating Officer (COO) to develop all elements of Thrive’s operations, from credit policies to loan documents, and help establish it as a standalone entity.

Westpac has been named as the Principal Banking Partner to Thrive, and will provide $2 million in funding towards micro-finance loans and support for refugees who want to start their own business.

Eligible applicants will be sourced with the assistance of existing refugee settlement service providers, Settlement Services International (NSW) and AMES (Victoria).

Thrive will provide loans to refugees through a business start-up package, as well as assist with further education programs, qualifications and apprenticeships, and business mentoring.

George Frazis, Westpac Group Chief Executive of Consumer Bank, said the organisation is honoured to partner with Thrive to offer meaningful assistance to refugees.

Huy Truong, Deputy Chairman of Thrive and a Vietnamese refugee, said refugees make a vital contribution to Australia’s economic growth and cultural diversity.

“Years of experience have shown that refugees who are economically independent, integrate into their new country more quickly. Australia has a burgeoning service-based economy which provides abundant opportunities for self-motivated individuals to start their own business.”

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