At the conclusion of this year’s NAIDOC Week, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson took the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the Indigenous business sector, noting the value-add they’ve provided to the local economy.
“In the 12 years to 2018, the sector saw a 115 per cent lift in gross income to $4.88 billion, and that is expected to continue to grow,” Mr Billson said in referencing data collated from the University of Melbourne.
“The same period saw a 74 per cent increase in the number of businesses operating in the Indigenous business sector, with more than 45,000 jobs created.”
Mr Billson noted that the majority are made up of mostly SMEs, and urged the community to continue to show their support.
“Interestingly, the Indigenous business sector is made up of mostly small businesses, with an average of 14 employees and average gross income of $1.6 million. That’s well above the non-Indigenous business average of $400,000 in gross income and two staff members,” he explained.
“We know every dollar spent with an Indigenous business goes a long way. According to Supply Nation, for every $1 of revenue, certified Indigenous suppliers generate $4.41 of social return.”
Further, Mr Billson said: “In fact, Indigenous businesses are 100 times more likely to employ other indigenous staff according to Supply Nation, which is why procuring from Indigenous businesses is an investment in both Indigenous employment and economic development more broadly.
“While Indigenous businesses provide services across a range of industries, there are a number that have been hit hard by the pandemic, such as those businesses relying on the tourist trade.
“It’s especially important that we support these businesses as much as possible as they work to recover from this challenging period.”