Usman Iftikhar

Darlington, New South Wales

Social entrepreneur, job creator

An engineer who arrived from Pakistan in 2013, Usman drew on the experiences and challenges he faced in a new country to establish Catalysr. This social enterprise runs a six-month pre-accelerator program that is designed to help new arrivals to think big and launch their own start-ups by offering mentorship, access to networks and finance. In its first two years of operation, Catalysr helped 15 ‘migrapreneurs’ to start their own businesses. A 2018 Commonwealth Young Person of the Year, Usman’s mission is to help create 10,000 new jobs in the next 10 years. By sharing stories of integration, resilience and enterprise, he also hopes to change Australia’s perception of migrants and refugees for the better.