Indigenous Economic Development Agenda

How to Prepare Your Indigenous Business For Shock Events: A Toolkit for Growing Resilience in Indigenous Industry 

Indigenous industry has taken significant strides over the last twenty years. Now that we’re facing unprecedented economic decline, we must channel our efforts to protect and grow Indigenous businesses so that we don’t go backwards as a nation. The Indigenous business sector needs to build resilience to help grassroots Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enterprise prosper in the short and long-term.
Equip yourself with tools that allow your business to be agile in the face of rapidly changing circumstances, grow your enterprise through innovation, implement techniques that free up your creativity, and discover how your commercial idea can directly benefit First Nation’s communities at the Indigenous Economic Development Workshop in Sydney, 24th November.  
Most importantly, find ways that you can take the next step from surviving as an Indigenous business, to excelling as an Indigenous business. 
If you think you’ve got what it takes to compete in the global economy but need help in moving to the next level, this workshop is for you.  
Key takeaways: 
  • Build commercial resilience to unpredictable events
  • Understand how to diversify and expand your client base
  • Discover how to gain a competitive edge as an Indigenous business 
  • Learn how to improve your cash flow 
  • Transition from a dependent to an independent business model 
  • Ensure that you include community in your upscaling efforts 

Workshop Agenda

09:00 Introduction
10:00 Assessing the challenges facing the Indigenous industry
11:00 Morning Tea
11:30 Developing strategy that will keep your business resilient during an economic recession
1:30 Lunch
2:30 Capitalising on opportunities presented by COVID-19
3:30 Takeaways from the day
4:00 End of workshop



Policy and Planning to Drive Indigenous Economic Development


  • What steps has NSW taken to accelerate Indigenous economic development?
  • What more can be done to create commercial opportunities for Indigenous peoples?
  • Providing updates on Aboriginal Tourism Strategy

Cultural and Community Benefits of Growing Indigenous Business


  • Treating entrepreneurship as a way of looking after country
  • Working in partnership with Indigenous organisations to extend the economic benefits


  • Maintaining your business during times of economic hardship
  • Attracting a client base that’s closer to home to achieve short and long-term business benefits
  • Sharing culture to foster understanding and respect for land and tradition
  • Developing the tour from idea to sustainable business


  • Harnessing online advertising to sell art and spread culture during periods of lockdown and social distancing 
  • Reinforcing culture through economic development
  • Understanding the intersection of economic growth and other social determinants


  • Protecting cultural ownership to ensure that community sees economic returns
  • Realising export opportunities while protecting against black cladding


Getting Your Indigenous Enterprise Off the Ground


  • Embracing social justice movements that you believe in as part of your business strategy 
  • What is black cladding and how to avoid it?
  • Making sure your Indigenous business has a positive impact on community


  • Protecting intellectual property and Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property
  • Managing from the front – using IP laws, protocols and contracts to create a wholistic plan


Interactive Yarning Circles



  • Prioritising personal skills over technical skills
  • Sustaining cash flow for economic security
  • Becoming media literate and strategically minded



  • Understanding new technologies that have become applicable to business as a result of COVID-19 
  • Expanding the definition of what an Indigenous business should look like to maximise economic development
  • Discovering new ways to share Indigenous culture and stories


  • Embracing the chance to recruit employees who will work remotely and flexibly
  • Onboarding an Indigenous workforce that meets your business needs
  • How do the employment benefits of Indigenous business strengthen First Nations entrepreneurship? 
  • Questioning the role that Indigenous employment plays in securing government tenders




Ensuring Indigenous Business Remains Sustainable


  • How will the recent national agreement on Closing the Gap improve land and sea rights for Indigenous people 
  • The potential of our future
  • Leveraging scale and addressing Social imperatives
  • Protect and conserve the Indigenous Estate


  • Visualising your end goal and working incrementally towards it
  • Using the ancient values and knowledge that nurtured our old people 
  • Adopting a model of wealth creation that benefits your whanau, hapu, iwi and larger community


  • Future-proofing your business to withstand unpredictable and large-scale change
  • Taking the next step and growing your Indigenous business
  • How can you independently build the scale of your business?
  • What supports can you access to build the scale of your business?


  • Assisting the approx. 58% of Indigenous businesses who have closed due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 
  • Exploring B2B options that strengthen the Indigenous economy
  • Realising the benefits of trading between Indigenous organisations


  • Overcoming economic hurdles on your path to creating a sustainable business
  • Challenging social bias to succeed as an Indigenous woman in tech



  • What is the future of Indigenous tourism over the next few years?
  • Diversifying your product to ensure you remain sustainable during the period of economic hardship
  • Reclaiming ownership of country through sharing cultural knowledge
  • Learning how to operate an Indigenous tourism business that is culturally safe and enriching
  • Assessing the societal benefits of indigenous tourism


  • Establishing the importance of provenance in the native food economy
  • What needs to happen to build the native food economy?
  • Finding ways to ensure the economic benefits of native food-based products are returned to Indigenous communities


Maximising Procurement Opportunities


  • Working towards more sizeable Indigenous procurement contracts with big business
  • Ensuring 3% of procurement revenue goes towards Indigenous business by 2027-28


  • Winning contracts with the big end of town as an Indigenous supplier
  • Continuing to grow and develop after you achieve success


  • Building Indigenous economic independence through employment and commercial collaboration
  • Shifting your business outlook to realise the significant economic potential in partnering with Indigenous organisations


  • Realising the long-term benefits to your bottom line of supporting Indigenous businesses in a time of need 
  • Valuing Indigenous employment, cultural safety, and community inclusion when preparing tenders for Indigenous business


Economic Development through Social Enterprise and Royalties


  • Localising business to reap greater economic returns for community 
  • What can other land councils and Indigenous organisations learn from the Winchelsea mining venture? 


  • Ensuring key economic decisions are made by Indigenous board members 
  • Developing a long-term business plan that empowers community  
  • Exploring major economic opportunities for Indigenous corporations?