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New MBA masterclass series aims to grow Indigenous businesses

A new series of masterclasses for Aboriginal business owners are launching next month at the Melbourne Business School.

The MURRA series, which means ‘fish net’ in the Woi Wurrung language, will equip participants aiming to grow their businesses with skills from the School’s MBA program.

“Strong Aboriginal businesses create more employment opportunities for Aboriginal communities, and help develop a broader, more independent economic base for these communities,” project director Michelle Evans said.

The masterclass series is being launched by the School’s Asia Pacific Social Impact Leadership Centre, and is part of their commitment to increasing the talent pipeline of Aboriginal business professionals. The classes will be taught by MBS academics and cover business strategy, finance, marketing, negotiations, procurement, and human resource management.

Glen Brennan, National Australia Bank’s Indigenous community finance and development manager and MBS graduate, said the series would hone the participants’ analytical skills.

“Backing that up with a mentor helps take the knowledge out of the text books and into reality,” he said.

Fellow graduate Chris Croker, a consultant at global professional services firm Boston Consulting Group, said MURRA will customise world-class management education to the needs of Indigenous communities.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about the world of business, what makes leading companies tick, and the practical skills that can be directly transferred to our local communities and business ventures,” he said.

The masterclasses will be run alongside a research project aiming to evaluate the impact of technical business and management education on Aboriginal businesses over a three-year period.

“A major research interest for us is the leadership behaviours, routines and practices that influence Aboriginal business performance. These insights will help us and others develop current and future Aboriginal entrepreneurs,” Evans said.

The Victorian Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, Kinaway, and Small Business Victoria’s Indigenous Economic Development Unit are partners on the MURRA initiative.

The master classes will run on six weekends starting from June 15-16 to November and applications close on June 1. Click here for more information, or to apply.

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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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