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NAIDOC Week shines spotlight on Indigenous opportunities

This week is NAIDOC week, an annual celebration recognising the culture and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their achievements.

The week is an opportunity to recognise the invaluable contributions Indigenous Australians have made in different fields.

Thanks to a number of different initiatives, Indigenous Australians are increasingly making their mark on the business community.

Established in 1990, Indigenous Business Australia is a government organisation that promotes and encourages Indigenous entrepreneurs and start-ups.

It works towards a vision ‘for a nation in which the First Australians are economically independent and an integral part of the economy.’

In 2009, IBA partnered with NAB to offer micro-enterprise loans, supplying unsecured business loans from $500 to $20,000.

The loans are just part of the IBA’s Business Development and Assistance Program, which provide entrepreneurs with expert advice and guidance.

The IBA runs a series of workshops that cover each step of business development, from how to flesh out an idea, how to market and manage a business, and how to navigate the financial aspects of business ownership.

Black Pages is yet another organisation offering support to Indigenous business owners.

First created as an online business portal, the company also offers business coaching and planning, marketing services, employee mentoring, mediation and conflict resolution, and a variety of web design and development services.

This flourishing business community is celebrated by the First Australians Business Awards – or the FAB Awards – with this year’s ceremony to be held in August.

Launched in 2010, the awards are open to any business operating in Australia that is at least 50 per cent Indigenous owned, and operated by an Indigenous Australian.

Indigenous business owners can find support in the form of a number of different grants and assistance programs.

These funds are available from Australian, state and territory governments, and some local councils. Find out if your business is eligible for any grants here.

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Gina Baldassarre

Gina Baldassarre

Gina is a journalist at Dynamic Business. She enjoys learning to ice skate and collecting sappy inspirational quotes.

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