NOT too long ago Oren Barak was unemployed and on Centrelink payments.
Now Mr Barak is the founder and director of Roogenic, a small business selling organic tea at the Fremantle Markets. The business is performing so well that he has had to upgrade his space to keep up with demand.
“I am very passionate about health and I love to help others improve their life experience,” he said.
“I sold my first cup of tea in November 2015 and in one year we have grown to a business employing 15 people. We expect to employ 20 people before the end of the year.”
Mr Barak is one of the success stories of Fremantle not-for-profit Business Foundations, an organisation helping unemployed locals become self-employed through accredited business training, start-up funding and mentoring.
He said the organisation’s New Enterprise Incentive Scheme really helped him start doing something he loved.
“The NEIS program was truly amazing at empowering myself and driving Roogenic to where it is today,” he said.
“It encouraged me to ask the right questions and in doing so, I could then build a great business plan that covered many aspects and issues of business management that I would face in the first couple of years of operation.
“Part of my great appreciation of the NEIS program and mentors is that it completely prepared me, so when I faced any challenges I knew how to tackle them with a positive attitude and correct approach.”
Business Foundation chief executive Phillip Kemp said they had helped more than 700 people such as Mr Barak transform their lives.
“Stories like Oren’s are the reason we do what we do; we’re passionate about small business, and we hope his success will inspire others to chase their dreams too,” he said.
“NEIS offers a fantastic opportunity for unemployed people to take control of their future and channel their existing experience, knowledge and passion into creating a small business they can be proud of.”