Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business growth and achievement will be celebrated throughout October during the third annual Indigenous Business Month (IBM).

The theme of Indigenous Business Month in 2017 is ‘Indigenous Business is BIG Business’.

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 way of providing positive role models for young Indigenous Australians and improving quality of life in Indigenous communities.

Since Indigenous Business Month launched in 2015, the Indigenous business sector has seen some significant positive changes, including a rise in the number of Indigenous tech companies, the launch of First Australians Capital, Indigenous business sector strategy consultations, and the launch of Walan Mayinygu, a touring weeklong entrepreneurial workshop and business networking event for Indigenous communities in New South Wales.

In Queensland, the Queensland Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group has been established, South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and the Townsville Region Indigenous Business Network have establishing the grassroots Black Coffee Networking initiative, and the Office of the Commonwealth Games with Queensland TAFE have launched Creating Tracks,  bringing Indigenous small business education to 160 Indigenous business owners in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Stradbroke Island, Cairns and Townsville. 

The Indigenous Procurement Policy has also been a game changer for the sector. In 2015-16 almost 500 Indigenous businesses won 1,509 Commonwealth Government contracts, with a total value of $284.2 million, up from $6.2 million in 2012-13.

For Supply Nation registered Indigenous businesses, total revenue is at $1.15b with annual average growth over four years at 12.5%, and average revenue per firm at $1.65m.

“We are seeing growth in Indigenous businesses both through the socially progressive Indigenous Procurement Policy but also through the diligent effort of Indigenous business leaders across the country,” says Michelle Evans, MURRA Program Director AND Associate Professor of Leadership at Charles Sturt University

“Businesses grow in a number of ways – it could be through employment numbers, or total revenue. However, in the Indigenous business sector we are also seeing the big impact of Indigenous business – more Indigenous families being supported through self-employment, young people engaged in enterprising ideas, and community organisations developing for profit arms and social enterprising approaches.  Indigenous business is big business.”

In 2017, Indigenous Business Month will promote the diversity and leadership of the Indigenous business sector with over 20 events taking place nationwide that will showcase and inspire engagement with Indigenous businesses.

As government and corporate Australia move towards a target of 3% of procurement from Indigenous businesses, programs such as MURRA, Indigenous Women in Business and Indigenous Business Month play a significant role in building a thriving Indigenous business sector.

Indigenous Business Month runs from October 1 to October 31.

The initiative is supported by 33 Creative, Asia Pacific Social Impact Centre at the Melbourne Business School, Iscariot Media and PwC.

For more information on Indigenous Business Month visit

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