Indigenous businesses receive $3 billion boost
13 August 2019 at 3:47 pm
Some of Australia’s largest companies will spend $3 billion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers over the next five years to help grow the Indigenous business sector.
The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has partnered with Supply Nation to launch the Raising the Bar initiative, with 16 BCA members pledging to boost their procurement agreements with Indigenous companies.
BCA CEO Jennifer Westacott said member companies already employed more than 200,000 Indigenous Australians.
She said this initiative would bolster Indigenous businesses so they could invest in creating jobs and opportunities in their local communities.
“This is game changing, businesses aren’t just creating economic value they’re helping build economic capacity in Indigenous businesses,” Westacott said.
“We’re already working to foster entrepreneurship, economic partnership and building lasting links with Indigenous suppliers and this is a chance to do even more.
“Economic advancement at an individual, family and community level is one of the best ways to create the type of opportunities that can deliver real, genuine and lasting change.”
BCA members taking part in the pledge include BHP, Commonwealth Bank, EY, Qantas and Microsoft.
Indigenous companies such as Dreamtime Tuka, which supplies Qantas, and Jilpanti Enterprises, which supplies Fortescue Metals Group, already have supply agreements in place with BCA members.
Dreamtime Tuka started working with Qantas in 2015 and over time has increased their supply to the airline by 500 per cent.
Laura Berry, the CEO of Supply Nation – which has a directory to 2,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses – said Raising the Bar would provide a strong framework to see this growth spread across the entire sector.
“Indigenous businesses face many of the same challenges as other businesses but many are on a much steeper growth curve,” Berry said.
“Time invested working with Indigenous suppliers will help the sector scale effectively and multiply the overall capability and capacity gain.”