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10 November 2020

Indigenous businesses sector among fastest growing in Australia

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell is encouraging Australians to support indigenous businesses, as the nation celebrates NAIDOC Week 2020.

“The indigenous business sector is one of the fastest growing in Australia,” Ms Carnell says.

Supply Nation data shows the number of indigenous businesses is growing by 12.5% each year.

“There are currently as many as 16,000 indigenous-owned businesses in Australia and that is expected to grow to more than 18,000 in the next five years.

“We know every dollar spent with an indigenous business goes a long way. According to Supply Nation, for every $1 of revenue, certified indigenous suppliers generate $4.41 of social return.

“Some great examples of this can be seen in ASBFEO’s Indigenous Success Stories series, profiling a number of inspiring indigenous businesses that have embraced reciprocity as a reflection of culture in the way they do business.

Kakadu Tinytots for instance, plants eco gardens in remote communities so children can have access to fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables.

“Others are investing in the next generation of indigenous professionals such as Willyama Services, an IT business which offers vocational training to indigenous high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in technical support.

“In fact, indigenous businesses are 100 times more likely to employ other indigenous staff according to Supply Nation, which is why procuring from indigenous businesses is an investment in both indigenous employment and economic development more broadly.

“While indigenous businesses provide services across a range of industries, there are a number that have been hit hard by the COVID crisis, such as those businesses relying on the tourist trade.

“It’s especially important that we support these businesses as much as possible as they work to recover from this difficult period.”