October is National Indigenous Business Month, and a series of business information events and ‘yarns’ are being held across the state.
Speaking at the Yarning2032 business breakfast today at Birrunga Gallery — the only Indigenous-owned and operated commercial cultural hub located in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD — the Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said Indigenous Business Month is a great opportunity to highlight the important role Indigenous businesses play in the Queensland economy.
“Indigenous Business Month marks the start of a ten-year goal to encourage Indigenous business across the state in the lead up to and beyond the Brisbane 2032 Olympics,” Minister Farmer said.
“Collectively, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses contribute more than $1 billion a year to the national economy, with revenues growing on average at 12.5 per cent annually.
“Today, Brisbane’s Indigenous business owners and operators have the opportunity to have their say on what they need to grow and shine in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic Games.
“We want to ensure Indigenous businesses are best positioned to take advantage of this once in a lifetime event and can tap into opportunities to supply their goods and services pre and post the Games.
“Yarning2032 is a great way for Indigenous business owners and intenders to talk about their business, source information and most importantly, collaborate so they can make plans to grow.
“It is our intention that Indigenous businesses across Queensland, particularly potential government suppliers, will be given every chance to thrive in the lead up to Brisbane2032.”
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said backing small business is at the heart of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, and Indigenous businesses play a vital role.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses have a lot to offer Queensland and are 30 times more likely to employ other First Nations people,” Minister Crawford said.
“For every dollar of revenue, Indigenous businesses create over $4 of economic and social value. Through Indigenous Business Month we are supporting Indigenous businesses to further harness opportunities and build on their strengths and cultural impact.
“Owning a business and having a job provides a strong foundation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, families and individuals.”
Birrunga Gallery’s founder, Birrunga Wiradyuri said in all their business pursuits and relationships, attending to their cultural responsibilities underpin and inform every aspect, consideration and initiative they enter into.
“We are definitely operating on a long game basis to do everything we are able to establish, grow, develop, consolidate and evolve our Indigenous business economy,” Mr Wiradyuri said.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group (BIRG) member and Yarning2032 facilitator Noel Niddrie said Indigenous Business Month is a time to showcase the many First Nations businesses in Australia and the diverse industries they work in.
“Indigenous business is the fastest growing business sector in Australia. Everything in your office could be supplied by an Indigenous business. Whether it be the stationery, the chair you’re sitting on, or even clothes you’re wearing,” Mr Niddrie said.
“Brisbane 2032 is an opportunity for First Nations entrepreneurs from all over Queensland to show the rest of Australia and the world that Murris have always been, and continue to be, entrepreneurial.
“We’ll see First Nations businesses working in construction, security, arts and many other areas to help make the Olympics truly Australian. In fact, I reckon the medals and even the torch are likely to be designed and supplied by an Indigenous business.”
October marks the 7th annual National Indigenous Business Month.
The initiative was co-founded and is run each year by Dr Michelle Evans of Melbourne Business School, Ms Mayrah Sonter of 33 Creative and Ms Leesa Watego of Iscariot Media.