Building the skills of mainstream support providers

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To understand how mainstream support services can tailor their support to Indigenous businesses, we focused our attention on the Entrepreneurs Programme as a case study, to identify solutions that could be applied more broadly.

The project team conducted one-on-one interviews with Indigenous businesses and DISER staff involved in the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, including business advisors and regional managers.

Opportunities and insights

The research revealed 6 opportunities to improve Indigenous businesses’ interactions with and access to EP.


Build long term, trusted relationships with Indigenous businesses and the people who connect with them.


Build a level of cultural awareness and competency of support providers to effectively and comfortably engage with Indigenous businesses.


Make identifying a business as Indigenous easier for support providers who directly engage with businesses.


Increase the consideration of specific circumstances faced by remote Indigenous businesses.


Increase Indigenous businesses’ awareness of EP.


Adapt the EP eligibility and guidelines so that they are more inclusive of EP-ready Indigenous businesses.


The project team developed and tested solutions to each of these opportunities with DISER staff. Based on staff feedback, 38 solutions are recommended under 4 themes:

  • EP services and approach
  • Support provider capability
  • Build awareness of EP
  • Improving identification and data

Next steps

  • Prioritise and align potential solutions with the EP forward work plan.
  • Review eligibility and guidelines to ensure greater inclusion of Indigenous businesses.

Investigate improvements to DISER’s Indigenous business data.