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Indigenous businesses are already a significant contributor to the economy. Collectively, Indigenous businesses registered with Supply Nation earn more than $1 billion per year, with revenues growing by an average of 12.5 per cent annually.[1]

There are critical links between Indigenous businesses and better economic outcomes for Indigenous Australians. Indigenous businesses play an important role in job creation, skill building and intergenerational wealth transfer, and delivering better economic outcomes for local communities and the broader Australian economy.

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources is changing the way we do business with Indigenous businesses. While the department does not currently administer programs specific to Indigenous businesses, there are over 40 mainstream business support programs that Indigenous businesses can apply for. Despite the department’s numerous service offerings, it is estimated that Indigenous businesses represented 0.2 per cent of applications to the department’s programs over a period of five years.[2]

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business Support (the Roadmap) includes initiatives to improve Indigenous business access to programs through policy development, review and evaluation; improving business outcomes through procurement; and building the Indigenous engagement ecosystem.

The Roadmap is a cohesive approach to maximising the department’s ability to support Indigenous businesses to contribute to, and benefit from, Australia’s economic growth. It is operationalised by a 12 month action plan.

Footnotes

  1. Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (2018)
  2. Proxy data has been used to gauge the level of Indigenous engagement with the department’s programs. The department has cross-matched data from Supply Nation, the Industry Capability Network, Australian Business Register and the Office of the Register of Indigenous Corporations.