On 12 February 2018 an overhaul of the Government’s support for Indigenous businesses was announced.
The Indigenous Business Sector Strategy is the cornerstone of the Indigenous Entrepreneurs Package, a commitment to supporting the growth and diversity of the Indigenous business sector through:
- $90 million for an Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund;
- refocussing Indigenous Business Australia’s Indigenous Business Development and Assistance Programme; and
- developing the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy.
The Indigenous Business Sector Strategy goes to the heart of the Government’s efforts to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians and ensure they are supported to fully participate in work and the Australian economy.
The Strategy outlines a suite of actions to support a vibrant and thriving Indigenous business sector across Australia. It builds on the success of the Indigenous Procurement Policy to put Indigenous business at the forefront of the Australian economy and draws on solutions put forward by Indigenous businesses.
Actions are focused in four key areas:
- Better business support to provide timely and fit-for-purpose advice, and allows businesses to identify and execute commercial opportunities,
- Improved access to finance, so businesses can build capital, assets and financial partnerships
- Stronger connections and relationships through linking to and building strong business and industry networks, and
- Harnessing the power of knowledge through better sharing of information about commercial opportunities and better collection and sharing of data about Indigenous businesses.
All actions will have a particular focus on increasing the number of Indigenous women and youth in business, addressing the specific needs of Indigenous businesses in regional and remote Australia, and on building partnerships across governments, the corporate sector and Indigenous businesses.
The actions set out in the Strategy complement the work underway at Indigenous Business Australia to better support the growing Indigenous business sector through a broader product range. Launched in 2017, IBA now offers a grant/loan Start Up Package for Indigenous Australians starting up a venture, invoice financing and procurement loans, in addition to its existing business loans and asset leasing products. For more information, go to www.iba.gov.au.