Areas of opportunity

Main content area

Developing business skills from the beginning

Building the business fundamentals

How might we help businesses in the early stages to learn the “business fundamentals” to set up their business well?

Initial ideas

  • Personalised one-on-one business support to help businesses navigate services, learn skills, connect to other successful businesses and grow their business (could look to leverage Indigenous business hubs).
  • More education in accounting and IT fundamentals to empower businesses.
  • Provide business health checks as an ongoing business support mechanism.
  • Provide tax breaks for Indigenous startups.

Who it will impact

  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Bred for Business
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Early access to mentors

How might we help Indigenous businesses have more opportunities to connect with potential mentors early on in their business journey?

Initial ideas

  • Utilise existing business hubs as a mechanism to connect Indigenous businesses with mentors.
  • Develop an app that links mentors and mentee’s. Users can detail preferences, what they need and what they can offer in the relationship.
  • Develop a process to identify and build a talent pool of mentors and ensure they are well prepared to undertake these roles.

Who it will impact

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Bred for Business
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

What business support?

Navigating mainstream support

How might we help Indigenous businesses to navigate the general business support that is available?

Initial ideas

  • Training and support for service providers to help them understand why it is important to assist Indigenous businesses.
  • Target Indigenous businesses through their existing networks to communicate mainstream business support services.
  • Develop an agency contact list for government agencies that deliver business support services.
  • A single entry point for businesses to access government support.

Who it will impact

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Bred for Business
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Supporting employment

Overcoming barriers to employment

How might we help Indigenous businesses to find the right Indigenous job seekers, and support them to grow their staff’s skills once they’re hired?

Initial ideas

  • Incentives, education and mentoring to empower and upskill mums returning to the workforce.
  • Develop partnerships with universities and schools to build capability and share business success stories.

Who it will impact

  • Bred for Business
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Working with government as a supplier

What to expect

How might we support businesses to understand the tender requirements, government processes, and realities of the opportunities that are available under the Indigenous Procurement Policy so they go into business prepared? 

Initial ideas

  • A tender toolkit for Indigenous businesses who have limited experience in tendering.
  • Information sessions on what government agencies look for in tender applications.
  • An interactive online support that uses gamification to practice, rate and provide feedback on tender responses.

Who it will impact

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Bred for Business
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Meaningful feedback

How might we provide more meaningful feedback to businesses who are unsuccessful in winning government contracts?

Initial ideas

  • Provision of more robust, comprehensive and meaningful feedback to all Indigenous business tenderers.
  • Within DIIS investigate the kind and level of feedback provided to Indigenous companies when they are unsuccessful for a grant or tender, and (starting with one grant, or a pilot tender) experiment with feedback mechanisms.

Who it will impact

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Understanding Indigenous procurement

How might we help our procurement officers to understand why they are asked to consider Indigenous companies, and to take the social benefits into account in their procurement process?

Initial ideas

  • Integrate social outcomes into the tender process to be considered in evaluation.
  • Cultural knowledge is a technical requirement and all procurement officers should have a base level of knowledge regarding Indigenous Australians.
  • Within DIIS investigate how people in the department see the Indigenous Procurement Policy and ways we can increase consideration of Indigenous companies for government work.

Who it will impact

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Indigenous businesses for smaller government contracts

How might we enable / incentivise procurement officers to consider Indigenous companies for smaller government contracts? 

Initial ideas

  • Integrate social outcomes into the evaluation of tenders – how do these businesses provide value for money that is different to the “big guys” and benefits local communities.
  • Develop an Australian Government Procurement Panel of Indigenous businesses.

Who it will impact

  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Facilitating sub-contracting

How might we more actively facilitate the sub-contracting opportunities available through larger companies (such as Tier 1 and 2 suppliers) so they are more accessible for Indigenous businesses?

Initial ideas

  • Develop a local community and engagement strategy to connect larger organisations with local Indigenous businesses.
  • Change market behaviours to ensure small Indigenous businesses benefit from larger tenders by requiring Tier 1 and 2 suppliers to subcontract to local Indigenous businesses.

Who it will impact

  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Connected government

Building the knowledge of mainstream support providers

How might we help our mainstream support providers to develop their understanding of Indigenous businesses as a customer group, and to tailor their services?​

Initial ideas

  • Taking Indigenous business characteristics into eligibility criteria design for mainstream support.
  • Ensure all government staff that provide business support services undertake cultural awareness training.
  • Promote the champions in government who are leading the way to support Indigenous businesses (i.e. awards for innovative approaches, increase in contracts awarded etc.).
  • Within DIIS work with business advisors of support programs such as the Entrepreneurs Programme to investigate their current level of knowledge, and develop training / support material to assist them to build their capacity to work with Indigenous businesses.

Who it will impact

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Bred for Business
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Local connections and proactive engagement

How might we help government support providers to build better connections with the community and more proactively engage with Indigenous businesses?

Initial ideas

  • Nil – this opportunity was not explored with businesses during consultations.
  • Initial ideas from government and other stakeholders to be explored in the next phase.

Who it will impact (potentially)

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Bred for Business
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Government to government connections

How might we help government to better connect with each other (and understand how their program fits into the broader ecosystem) so that businesses get the support they need and we provide a more joined-up service?

Initial ideas

  • Nil – this opportunity was not explored with businesses during consultations.
  • Initial ideas from government and other stakeholders to be explored in the next phase.

Who it will impact (potentially)

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Bred for Business
  • Til Business Do We Part
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist

Supporting role models

Inspiring future business owners

How might we better support Indigenous business owners to share their story so that other Indigenous people (especially youth) can see that it is possible to own their own business one day?

Initial ideas

  • Placing Indigenous business role models into existing mainstream business support hubs to assist linkages with Indigenous business people and to help build cultural competence in the centres.
  • Coordination and production of multi-media products that highlight the diversity, strength and value of the Indigenous business sector.
  • Within DIIS investigate potential candidates for place-based case studies and the best ways to disseminate these. This could be delivered through a joint partnership with NSW Government.

Who it will impact

  • Passionate Supporter
  • Cautious Trail Blazer
  • Bred for Business
  • Unsupported
  • Flexible Opportunist