Indigenous businesses around Australia will be under the spotlight next month when the fourth annual Indigenous Business Month kicks off on October 1, 2018.
Drawing inspiration from the 2018 NAIDOC theme, Because of Her, We Can, the month will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in business.
Twenty national Indigenous Business Month events will take place showcasing the talents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women entrepreneurs from a variety of business sectors.
Organisers hope the events will ignite conversations about Indigenous business development and innovation, focusing on women’s roles and leadership.
Launched in 2015, Indigenous Business Month is an initiative of the graduating students of Melbourne Business School’s MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class, who hope the month will catalyse young Indigenous Australians to follow their business dreams.
The Indigenous business sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia, delivering over $1 billion in goods and services for the Australian economy.
While these stats show the potential of the sector, there is still work to be done, The latest ABS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2014-15 shows that only 51.5 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women participate in the workforce compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men at 65 per cent.
Michelle Evans, MURRA Program Director and Associate Professor of Leadership at the University of Melbourne said she hopes the program will inspire and engage the indigenous business community, whilst spotlighting the work of so many home-grown female entrepreneurs.
“This year it is more significant than ever to support the female Indigenous business community and provide a platform for them to network and encourage young Indigenous women to consider developing a business as a career option.”
Jason Eades, Director, Consulting at Social Ventures Australia and Indigenous Business Month 2018 host, said he felt privileged to be a part of Indigenous Business Month.
Indigenous entrepreneurs are showing the rest of the world that we can do business and do it well, whilst maintaining our strong cultural values.”
The Australian Government has invested in a range of initiatives to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women entrepreneurs in the work-place including: Continued funding for girls’ academies in high schools, so that young women can realise their leadership potential, greater access to finance and business support suited to the needs of Indigenous businesses with a focus on Indigenous entrepreneurs and start-ups. The government has also expanded the ParentsNext program and funds pre-employment projects via the new Launch into Work program providing flexibility to meet the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
Indigenous Business Month runs from October 1 to October 31. Check out the website for an event near you (spaces are limited). www.indigenousbusinessmonth.com.au