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Powering the Indigenous Economy this 2021 Indigenous Business Month

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Indigenous Business Month 2021 officially kicks off nationally, with a launch event in Toowoomba regional Queensland. Indigenous business owners and allies across the business sector gather at the Highlands Cultural Centre to showcase the strengths and opportunities to be had in partnering and procuring with Indigenous businesses and supporting the Indigenous economy.

This year’s theme,  Powering the Indigenous Economy, is a practical call to connect and drive conversations and activity that showcases the economic contributions of Indigenous businesses, individuals and organisations. It signals the need to tap into the entrepreneurial and innovative power that comes from Indigenous business, not to mention the positive outcomes that result from its operations.

Leesa Watego, Co-founder of Indigenous Business Month and Director of Iscariot Media, said Indigenous Business Month continues to gain national support.

“We have events registered across the country and many more likely to take place as Australians continue to switch their attention to the power of the Indigenous economy,” Watego said.

“This year, Indigenous Business Month aims to amp up Australia’s engagement with Indigenous businesses, individuals and organisations. Everyone can support powering the Indigenous economy, from purchasing locally or integrating Indigenous businesses throughout the supply change. Indigenous business month aims to bring awareness to practical opportunities for long term benefit.

“For the entire month of October, we will celebrate the many forms of power Indigenous economies generate as part of everyday business,” said Ms Watego.

Dr Michelle Evans, Co-founder of Indigenous Business Month and Director of Dilin Duwa Centre for Indigenous Business Leadership, said the contributions of the Indigenous economy are vast.

“The visibility of our economic contributions needs to extend past the narrow frame of GDP statistics where the value of goods and services that are traded are counted. In practice, Indigenous businesses provide more than this – they are a major source of innovation, mentorship, leadership, cultural knowledges and practices, community and cultural kinship, unpaid childcare, and volunteer work,” Dr Evans said.

“The ingenuity of Indigenous Australians is powering the Indigenous economy. Our innovation springs from the bringing together of cultural knowledges, community intelligence and savvy market acumen.

“Indigenous entrepreneurial innovation manifests in our regions where communities are creating hybrid economic models like; Knowledge Water, a sustainably sourced and packaged spring water product, in North East Arnhem Land; Luggarrah in the western district of Victoria bringing interaction game technology for on country regional engagement; Embley Contracting who are the largest local Aboriginal Tier One contractor in Western Cape York providing numerous services including mine security, labour hire and are the largest bus transport provider in the region; as well as Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils in the Goldfields of Western Australia producing sandalwood oil from wood harvested on native title lands,” said Dr Evans.

Mayrah Sonter, Co-founder of Indigenous Business Month and Co-founder and Director of 33 Creative, said “Business growth occurs through reflection on past practice, identifying opportunities or ways to do better and be better. Growth occurs through learning and acknowledging that diversity is a strength.

“Big business is missing a core ingredient if it’s not engaging Indigenous business in its operations, there is opportunity to do more. Incorporate Indigenous businesses into supply chains across all levels, recommend Indigenous suppliers across your network. Be an active ally.

“Individual consumers also have a lot to gain in purchasing from Indigenous business. It creates a two-way exchange, in many cases a cultural learning and a shift in the paradigm that puts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a position of strength and success,” said Ms Sonter.

Co-founders are united in their message.

Look for and purchase from Indigenous businesses and show your support by recommending an Indigenous business to other businesses you engage with. Like, follow and share Indigenous business pages online, and loop your networks into the opportunity to Power the Indigenous Economy, generate jobs and boost local economies.

Everyone has a role to play in Powering the Indigenous Economy, reflect on yours and join the conversation.

Now in its seventh year, Indigenous Business Month runs from 1 – 31 October annually as an initiative driven by the alumni of Melbourne Business School’s MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class program, who see business as a way of providing positive role models for young Indigenous Australians and improving the quality of life for Indigenous communities.

Indigenous Business Month 2021: Powering the Indigenous Economy 

This year Indigenous Business Month calls upon the Indigenous Business Sector and its allies to gather online and in community in Covid-safe ways, to power up the Indigenous economy through connection.

Australians are contributing to the online conversation using #IndigBizMonth #Indigenousbusinessmonth

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