Indigenous Business Month – celebrating entrepreneurs
Every October, Indigenous businesses come together to celebrate and promote their achievements as part of Indigenous Business Month (IBM)
Now in its 5th year, this initiative recognises business owners as inspirational leaders and Indigenous owned business as an opportunity to improve the quality of life in Indigenous communities.
IBM co-founder and Associate Professor of Leadership at the University of Melbourne, Michelle Evans, explained the purpose of IBM.
‘The Indigenous business sector was starting to flourish in 2014,’ Michelle said.
‘This was a time when the idea of Indigenous Australians in business was beginning to be understood as an exciting career opportunity. We wanted to showcase the sector and also create a platform for the sector to use to collectively gather and promote their businesses and most importantly work together on collective goals of economic empowerment for Indigenous Australians.’
In 2019, IBM is promoting the role of the entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs see the world differently – they see opportunity and value,’ Michelle said.
‘When they see challenges, they respond with creative and sometimes innovative solutions. Indigenous entrepreneurs that we have showcased and work with over the past five years through Indigenous Business Month are super inspiring.’
‘Many individuals have shared their stories having struggled and overcome immense barriers of financial hardship, racism, sexism, trauma to create profitable businesses that support their families and give back to communities.’
Michelle said the Indigenous business sector is growing at an unprecedented rate with businesses being established all around Australia, in urban, regional and remote locations.
‘We are seeing Indigenous businesses grow and trade internationally, expand across Australia and even examples of business that have been built up and sold on giving the entrepreneur the opportunity to start something new again,’ Michelle said.
‘We have noticed that Indigenous business employ Indigenous Australians and that this continues to expand and impact creating self-determination in practice.’
IBM have recently introduced 3 awards to showcase outstanding achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
The awards ceremony will be held on 30th October at the Melbourne Business School.
Indigenous Business Month (IBM) is held annually from October 1 to October 31.