Tips for Indigenous business

Indigenous AffairsEconomic DevelopmentIndigenous Procurement Policy
Monday, 26 November 2018
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

To help Indigenous businesses to grow the Commonwealth Government requires Commonwealth agencies to meet a purchasing target from Indigenous businesses.

To help Indigenous businesses to grow the Commonwealth Government requires Commonwealth agencies to meet a purchasing target from Indigenous businesses.

In addition, for the following two types of procurements, the Commonwealth will need to consider whether an Indigenous business can deliver the required goods or services on a value-for-money basis before approaching the market more generally:

  • Procurements where the majority of goods or services will be delivered in a remote area.
  • Procurements valued between $80,000 - $200,000.

The policy also applies to certain high-value contracts to support Indigenous business. Commonwealth contracts valued at $7.5 million and above, where the majority of the goods and services will be delivered in one of the following sectors, require that contractors meet minimum Indigenous employment and/or supplier use targets.

  1. Building, construction and maintenance services.
  2. Transportation, storage and mail services.
  3. Education and training services.
  4. Industrial cleaning services.
  5. Farming and fishing and forestry and wildlife contracting services.
  6. Editorial and design and graphic and fine art services.
  7. Travel and food and lodging and entertainment services.
  8. Politics and civic affairs services.

Supply Nation’s Indigenous Business Directory

For the procurements above Commonwealth buyers’ first point of call is Supply Nation’s Indigenous Business Direct. Buyers check the IBD which will quickly and reliably show whether there is an Indigenous business that can provide goods or services on a value-for-money basis.

Definition of an Indigenous business

An Indigenous business is any business that is 50 per cent or more Indigenous owned.

Getting started

Register with Supply Nation

You should consider registering your business with Supply Nation. This is one of the best steps Indigenous businesses can take to gain exposure to Commonwealth buyers. Registration is a free. The register of Indigenous businesses that Supply Nation maintains is regularly checked by Commonwealth government and non-government buyers. The Commonwealth and Supply Nation hold events throughout the year to raise the profile of Indigenous businesses with buyers.

Tips for Indigenous-owned businesses

  • Develop a clear business profile.
  • Ensure your business’s communications look professional.
  • Update your business’s web page regularly.
  • Know your product.
  • Know your customer and market.
  • Understand the quoting process.
  • Understand the procurement and contracting rules.
  • Watch for opportunities.
  • Attend networking events.
  • Build relationships.
  • Follow up on potential contracting leads.
  • Be proactive, market your goods and services.
  • Make sure you deliver value for money.
  • Ask for feedback.
  • Keep your Supply Nation profile current.
  • Keep a list of key procurement contacts.
  • Consider becoming a Commonwealth government panel member.
  • Register with an Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.

For further information go to the Department of Finance website.

Finding contracting opportunities

  • Register your business on AusTender.
  • Create a business profile for automatic notification of opportunities.
  • Search for opportunities and contracts relevant to your business.
  • Monitor and watch Annual Procurement Plans.
  • Meet potential Commonwealth buyers at ‘Meet the Buyer’ events and make sure your business is well known.

Getting help to build your business

Indigenous Business Australia may be able to help you with a business loan or other support to help your business grow and win Commonwealth contracts.

Your local Indigenous Chamber of Commerce may also offer support to help you gain the skills necessary to win government contracts

Rules allowing the Commonwealth to directly contract an Indigenous business

The rules that make it easy for a Commonwealth buyer to purchase directly from an Indigenous business can be used for contracts of any size and value, the contract does not have to be between $80,000 and $200,000. This provides Indigenous businesses with a big advantage – they do not need to complete costly tender processes. Indigenous business must still demonstrate value for money, but this can be done through a simpler quote process.

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