Australia’s first business centre for Indigenous entrepreneurs will launch next month in Brisbane, it has been revealed, with a focus on supporting fast-growing start-ups and businesses.
The Barayamal Centre of Entrepreneurship (BEC) will be open in July the inner Brisbane suburb of West End.
“First Nations entrepreneurship is the high-growth, high-impact solution to help close the disparity and opportunity gap for First Nations people in Australia,” the centre’s managing director Dean Foley said.
“So the ultimate mission of BCE is to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people build and manage wealth in their communities through business and property ventures.”
According to Mr Foley, BCE will host co-working space for up to 30 people, as well as a meeting room and small event space.
“We’re thrilled to be able to deliver this level of support to budding entrepreneurs and future leaders from all over the country,” he said.
“By achieving economic independence, First Nations people can give back to their communities and strengthen our connection to the land. Providing support to new indigenous businesses is a critical piece of that puzzle.”
BEC is an extension of the Barayamal growth accelerator which Mr Foley established in November 2016, in a bid to address the growing disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
It comes at a time of strong growth in the number of indigenous business leaders: the 2016 census revealed there was a 72 per cent increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs over a 10-year period.
However according to the Barayamal website, overall indigenous employment fell from 48 per cent to just 46.6 per cent over the same decade — compared to the considerably higher employment rate of 72 per cent for non-indigenous Australians.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.