The University of Melbourne has released its inaugural Indigenous Business Snapshot Study, which studied data from 2006 and 2018, highlighting that Indigenous businesses were booming.
In those 12 years, Australia saw a 74 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous businesses, 115 per cent growth in gross income, and more than 22,000 jobs created – a 100 per cent increase.
In 2018, gross income for the sector was $4.88 billion, more than Australia’s beer industry, which generated $4.3 billion.
“The research by the University of Melbourne is exciting, extremely well-timed and welcomed. The results will be of great use to companies, governments and other stakeholders,” ICN Limited Executive Director Warren Jansen said, adding that ICN was proud to have been involved in the study.
“ICN is passionate about helping Indigenous businesses thrive and grow. Our network of state and territory offices work closely with local government and authorities, many of whom are eagerly anticipating the publication of this research.
Warren said ICN partners and government agencies are keen to better understand indigenous business capability in their regions, so they can help these businesses to put their best foot forward to potential partners and secure new business.
“Our leading product, ICN Gateway, is a platform that connects Australian businesses and projects. To assist indigenous businesses to stand out and be easily identified, ICN Gateway flags indigenous businesses, so they can be ideally placed to secure business.”
In releasing the Indigenous Business Snapshot, Head of the University of Melbourne Indigenous Business Research Group and research lead, Associate Professor Michelle Evans, said it proved the Indigenous business sector’s economic strength, as well as its social and cultural effects.
“This research is truly unprecedented. It shows us that Indigenous businesses bring not just significant economic impact but far more. They contribute employment and deliver services to Indigenous communities, including health and education services in a culturally sensitive manner that is essential for ensuring trust and accessibility of service for Indigenous people that rely on them,” Associate Professor Evans said.
“They also often punch above their weight when compared to non-Indigenous businesses in terms of size, employee numbers and higher wages. On top of that, the sector is growing more quickly.”