Australian Small Business and Family Business Ombudsman Bruce Billson Encourages Australians to Support Indigenous Businesses as the Nation Celebrates NAIDOC WEEK 2021.
Billson says the indigenous corporate sector is one of the fastest growing in Australia, with new data from the University of Melbourne showing that the contribution of indigenous companies to the economy has more than doubled.
"This new study shows how important the indigenous business sector is to the national economy," says Billson.
“In the 12 years to 2018, the sector saw its gross income grow 115% to $ 4.88 billion, and it is expected to continue growing.
“During the same period, the number of companies operating in the indigenous business sector increased by 74% with more than 45,000 jobs created.
“Interestingly, the indigenous corporate sector consists mostly of small businesses with an average of 14 employees and an average gross income of $ 1.6 million. That's well above the non-indigenous business average of $ 400,000 gross income and two employees.
“We know that every dollar spent on an indigenous company makes a big difference. According to Supply Nation, certified indigenous suppliers generate $ 4.41 in social return for every US dollar in sales.
“Some great examples of this can be seen in ASBFEO's Indigenous Success Stories series, which features a range of inspiring indigenous companies that have embraced reciprocity in their business as a mirror of culture.
“Kakadu Tinytots, for example, is planting eco-gardens in remote communities so that children have access to fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
“Others are investing in the next generation of indigenous professionals like Willyama Services, an IT company that offers vocational training to Indigenous high school students interested in a career in tech support.
In fact, Indigenous companies are 100 times more likely to employ other Indigenous workers, according to Supply Nation.
“While indigenous companies offer services in a number of industries, there are some that have been hard hit by the pandemic, such as companies that rely on tourism.
“It is especially important that we support these companies as best we can to help them recover from this difficult time,” concludes Billson.