The Morrison Government is partnering with the Wirrpanda Foundation to establish a $10 million Indigenous Business and Jobs Hub in Perth.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion and the Member for Swan, Steve Irons, announced the new facility – to be based in Swan – to assist local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small businesses take advantage of the Coalition Government’s investments in Western Australia.
“Since the Coalition came to office in 2013, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small businesses have experienced unprecedented growth with a 30 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous Australians in small business in five years,” Minister Scullion said.
“The Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) introduced by the Coalition in July 2015 has supercharged the sector – prior to its introduction there were only 30 Indigenous businesses winning $6.2 million in Commonwealth contracts in 2012-13, in contrast since the IPP there have been 1,470 Indigenous businesses winning 6,880 Commonwealth contracts worth over $1.83 billion.
“To meet this unprecedented demand, the Coalition Government has introduced a range of new financial products to assist existing and emerging Indigenous businesses win more contracts and continue to grow as part of our 2016 election commitment to an Indigenous Business Sector Strategy.
“The new Hubs are about bringing together the myriad of new support services available under the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy into a one-stop shop to help Indigenous businesses take advantage of the new opportunities being created by the IPP.
Member for Swan and Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Steve Irons, welcomed this new investment to assist Indigenous small businesses in Swan and across Western Australia.
“The policies of the Morrison Government have led to unprecedented economic growth for the nation – with over a million jobs created, 230,000 new Australian small businesses opening their doors since 2013 and the lowest welfare dependency rate in 30 years,” Mr Irons said.
“Of course, Indigenous Australians have greater barriers to entry into small business for a range of historical reasons and I am very proud of being part of a Government that is focused on ensuring that disadvantaged communities get a fair-go at the opportunities being created for all Australians.
“This new Hub will be the catalyst for Indigenous businesses in Swan and across Western Australia to come together to network, access opportunities and continue its record growth. This new $10 million investment is a fantastic boost for the electorate of Swan and Indigenous small businesses across Western Australia.
The Wirrpanda Foundation which will deliver the new Indigenous Business and Jobs Hub, is a highly successful Indigenous employment provider that will leverage this expertise to deliver a new one-stop shop service.
“The Indigenous Business and Jobs Hub will provide an invaluable opportunity to allow Indigenous Businesses to flourish. It will provide a collaborative entrepreneurial workspace for business, Indigenous businesses and jobseekers to come together,” David Wirrpanda said.
“It is an immense privilege for the Foundation to have a role in the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and, in turn, the community.”
Funding for this project is allocated from within existing resources of the $5.2 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
Key initiatives announced as part of the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy include:
- A $27 million Indigenous Entrepreneurs Capital Scheme, to de-risk commercial finance for mature and established Indigenous businesses that cannot access finance. The Government will partner with financial institutions to deliver new Indigenous products which the Indigenous Entrepreneurs Capital Scheme will support a portion of the risk.
- A refocused $27 million Business Development Assistance Program, delivered by Indigenous Business Australia, to support start-ups and those entrepreneurs that are outside of the banks risk profile but who with one-on-one support and tailored finance can succeed.
- Doubling the microfinance footprint to support more entrepreneurial activity and economic development and piloting a CDP Business Incubator model to help CDP participants foster self-employment and turn their activities into micro businesses.
- A new $20 million Performance Bonds Facility has been introduced which Indigenous constructions firms can use to win roads and construction contracts.
- The $30 million Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund is investing in plant and equipment to help Indigenous businesses in remote and regional areas win new contracts.