Australia, housing a large aboriginal population, started a new way for indigenous people to integrate their creations into society. Currently, 30% of indigenous people live below the poverty line. In addition, up to 80% of indigenous people are unemployed in Australia. With additional benefits for starting a company, aboriginal business owners have access to business advisors, training and financial support provided by the government. This allows indigenous people to start earning income and provide a stable household for their families without losing their culture to rise above the poverty line. Here are five ways that Australia supports aboriginal businesses.
5 Ways Australia Supports Aboriginal Businesses
- The Black Pages: The Black Pages is an online directory for aboriginal businesses and community enterprises founded in 1999 to develop the socio-economic status of indigenous people. This platform works with the government to provide a “marketplace” for businesses to advertise their products, services or events. As a result, this can help gain attraction amongst other companies.
- Supply Nation: Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC), now known as Supply Nation, is a government-funded non-profit organization aiming for indigenous integration into Australia’s supply chain. The organization connects government and corporate institutions to aboriginal suppliers. In 2014, 276 aboriginal suppliers processed $107 million worth (AUD) of transactions on the site.
- Indigenous Business Australia: Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) is a government agency that invests in aboriginal businesses. It assists indigenous companies in becoming financially independent and economically self-sufficient. IBA provides not only money for businesses, but all the materials to create a stable institution. One of the agency’s efforts in creating sustainable companies in indigenous communities is helping indigenous people gain homeownership. IBA invested over $1 billion AUD in indigenous people, opening 203 job opportunities for indigenous workers in 2019.
- Jawun: Westpac and Boston Consulting Group founded the nonprofit organization Jawun (Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships) in 2001 to create bonds between aboriginal people and non-indigenous corporations. Instead of offering employment opportunities to indigenous people, Jawun partners with companies to provide a haven for aboriginal people to be hired. They connect suitable “secondees” for different projects at various companies, including KPMG, Leighton Holdings, Wesfarmers, IBM, etc. Eighty-seven percent of their indigenous partners are satisfied with their experience, overall benefitting their economic status.
- Indigenous Mentoring Program: The government started the Indigenous Mentoring Program to aid the owners of aboriginal businesses to create a long-lasting company. The program pairs mentors with companies to provide relevant advice on the industry. In addition, it helps them form networks to succeed in business. Mentors are volunteers and are government trained to help others flourish in the corporate world.
With multiple organizations dedicated to integrating indigenous people into the economy, the prominence of aboriginal companies will continue to rise. As a result, indigenous people will start seeing an increase in income and hopefully cross over the poverty line.
– Zoe Chao