Aboriginal Business Roundtable goes international to Close the Gap
Aboriginal business leaders have met with their Māori counterparts to better understand and share information about how to grow Indigenous businesses and create new jobs across the Tasman in the fourth Aboriginal Business Roundtable on Closing the Gap.
The Looking Abroad: Aboriginal and Māori Businesses Roundtable is the first time businesses have come together in this way brought together by the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris and NZ Consul General, Bill Dobbie.
The roundtable deliberated on how the ‘trans-Indigenous’ trade had evolved over thousands of years and how this new era of collaboration would unlock new opportunities for indigenous businesses in a global marketplace. Participants used the opportunity to knowledge share and network with Austrade providing practical advice on how to expand businesses for export markets.
The NSW Government recognises a thriving Aboriginal business sector is essential for economic self-determination and Closing the Gap. NSW is the only jurisdiction in Australia that has an additional priority reform to Close the Gap on employment, business growth and economic prosperity.
A key action to deliver this priority is the convening of Aboriginal business roundtables to hear directly from Aboriginal businesses on what challenges they face to enter, grow and thrive in the NSW business sector.
In 2021, 59.6% of people aged 25 to 64 years who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander were employed, compared to 75.2% of people who identify as non-Indigenous. Over 20 years this has only increased by 14.0% (45.6% in 2001).
Australian Government data shows that between 2006 and 2016, the number of Indigenous businesses has increased to 11,587. However, the rate of business ownership by Indigenous Australians is lower than non-Indigenous Australians. Indigenous businesses only represent between 0.6% to 0.8% of the 2.1 million businesses nationwide.
The NSW Government has established an Aboriginal Business Taskforce to provide independent advice, develop strategic approaches and coordinate and drive initiatives under Priority Reform 5 relating to starting, supporting and growing businesses. Expressions of Interest are now open.
October is Indigenous Business Month, with Australia’s First Nations communities being called ‘To Gather, together'.
For more information on Closing the Gap and Aboriginal Business Taskforce visit the NSW Aboriginal Affairs website.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said:
“The NSW Government is committed to Closing the Gap.
“We acknowledge that to close the gap, Aboriginal people must determine, drive and own their own future.
“More than ever, Aboriginal people are seeking to achieve economic independence through business creation.
“Aboriginal businesses want to grow and expand into new markets, and the NSW Government is keen to support these businesses on this journey.
“This roundtable is an exciting opportunity for Aboriginal and Māori business entrepreneurs to forge connections and create business ties and networks.
“Initiatives such as this are driving change and helping close the gap in real and sustainable ways.”