Indigenous businesses will again have the opportunity to apply for the PwC MURRA Boost Initiative, as part of Indigenous Business Month in October.
Now in its sixth year, the partnership between PwC Australia and the MURRA Indigenous Business School seeks applications from majority owned Indigenous businesses seeking to strengthen their business practices or capacity.
Winners are paired up with specialist skills and expertise from the PwC Australia team to the value of $30,000 to support a specific issue that will enable their future growth.
This year’s Indigenous Business Month theme Invigorate, Build, Maintain to keep our sector strong, is a practical call to arms – acknowledging that businesses across all sectors are met by challenging times in 2020, and acknowledging we all have a role to play in keeping the Indigenous business sector strong.
Now in its sixth year, Indigenous Business Month is an initiative driven by the alumni of Melbourne Business School’s MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class, who see business as a mechanism to deliver positive role models and improve the quality of life in Indigenous communities.
Indigenous Business Month Co-Founder Michelle Evans said now more than ever, many Indigenous business owners were navigating significant challenges against the backdrop of a tumultuous 2020.
“2020 has not been without challenges for many business owners. Across our country we’ve seen bushfires, floods, and COVID-19 restrictions impact the day to day operations and livelihood for business owners and operators big and small,” said Michelle MURRA Program Director and Associate Professor of Leadership at the University of Melbourne.
“The PwC MURRA Boost partnership is a much needed support this year. We encourage all businesses that are facing a specific challenge to their business growth or capacity, to apply”
PwC Australia CEO Tom Seymour said the partnership with MURRA is important to the organisation, enabling greater connection with First Nations businesses across the country.
“We’re committed to increasing economic participation opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As a major sponsor of Indigenous Business Month over the past five years, our support of First Nations businesses continues to provide our people with new ways of working, which is leading to a great deal of learnings,” Tom said.
“We recognise First Nation businesses are more likely to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which can help foster further economic development and wealth creation for the benefit of all Australians.”
Erin Woolford, a proud Kuyani-Arrernte woman and Senior Manager of Reconciliation at PwC agrees.
“The benefits flow both ways for us, absolutely. It’s great to see the partnerships that are built with winners and to have that deep connection to help them support their business goals. It’s a partnership we are proud to support as part of our Reconciliation program,” said Erin.
Last year saw the initiative provide support to two businesses, Kakadu Tiny Tots an Aboriginal clothing store that sources handcrafted designs and artwork from remote communities across the Northern Territory, and BlackCard Pty Ltd, a cultural training and consultancy service out of Queensland.
“Working with PwC has created opportunities for us to scale and increase our impact both quickly and sustainably, developing our resilience as a business that has set us up so well for these unusual times under COVID. The mentoring and business development to ensure BlackCard was able to pivot our business model to a digital environment was of great value to the BlackCard, authenticity and skills of the PwC team was absolutely amazing. I have no doubt that these relationships will continue for even longer than the project itself,” said Mundanara Bayles, Founder and Managing Director of BlackCard.
“I truly love the PwC and Kylie Kakadu Team. The time that we have spent on my brand’s DNA has been remarkable. Pivoting to reflect and capture my customer segment is so exciting. I can’t wait to relaunch as KAKADU, the eco-friendly gift hamper site.” said Kylie-Lee Bradford, Kakadu Tiny Tots.
Indigenous Business Month runs from October 1 to October 31. Applications for the MURRA Boost Initiative are now open, and close on 18 October
Indigenous Business Month is supported by 33 Creative, MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class Program, Iscariot Media and PwC.
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