Ombudsman encourages all Australians to support Indigenous businesses
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell is encouraging Australians to support indigenous businesses, as the nation celebrates NAIDOC Week 2020, noting that the Indigenous business sector is one of the fastest growing in Australia.
Supply Nation data shows the number of indigenous businesses is growing by 12.5 per cent each year, with as many as 16,000 Indigenous-owned businesses in Australia, a number which is expected to grow to more than 18,000 in the next five years.
For every dollar of revenue certified Indigenous suppliers can generate up to $4.41 of social return, as showcased in ASBFEO’s Indigenous Success Stories series, which profiles 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, while other businesses 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.
Indigenous businesses, Ms Carnell said, “are 100 times more likely to employ other indigenous staff,” 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, Ms Carnell said, adding that it is “especially important that we support these businesses as much as possible as they work to recover from this difficult period.”
For a range of resources to support the meaningful embedding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander ways of knowing into the early childhood curriculum, please see here.