Contacts and resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses
A wide range of organisations, including all levels of government, provide resources to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to start, run and grow their businesses. The following contacts, events, programs and resources can assist your small- to medium-sized business to improve business efficiency, skills and knowledge.
Queensland Government business support
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business support – The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) works with Queensland Indigenous business owners to identify and support their capability and capacity development needs as a supply chain provider. Email email@example.com for assistance, and to organise a free business health check.
- Black Business Finder (BBF) – a free online platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to access major projects in Queensland. Using the Industry Capability Network (ICN), BBF provides a search and match service for buyers. Find out how to register your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander business on the BBF.
- Deadly stories – celebrate the achievements and successes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities, and learn about community events and opportunities.
- Agriculture, livestock, fishing and forestry – the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) provides an extensive range of information on improving business awareness, biosecurity compliance and regulatory requirements for farmers, fishers and food producers.
- Innovation – learn about innovation, planning, funding and commercialising your products and services, including:
- Advance Queensland – read about innovation for small business, entrepreneurs and start-ups; and find out about events and grants
- Innovation readiness quiz – take the quiz to learn how innovation can benefit your business, read about mentoring for innovation, and find innovation grants, support and funding.
- Licensing, registrations and legal obligations – learn about your business's obligations including:
- Regional advice and assistance, including:
- DATSIP regional offices – linking your business to support programs and services and helping you to understand your business capability development needs
- regional offices of the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP) - assisting local businesses to build tendering and supply chain capability, and providing workshops and community engagement events.
- Small Business Solutions – provides practical business advice for Queensland businesses, including workshops, mentoring and a Business health check .
- State Library of Queensland – provides a range of resources including:
- Business Studio – mentoring, forums and facilities to support entrepreneurs and start-up businesses
- books, reference works, newspapers, journals, CDs, DVDs, ebooks, databases, and borrowing via the inter-library loan service.
- Trade and investment – Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) helps exporters break into emerging and established markets. TIQ works with you to develop required skills, provides market intelligence, business connections and offers in-market introductions through targeted trade missions.
- Work, health and safety – learn about your work, health and safety obligations by searching the following:
Australian Government resources
- Austrade (Australian Trade and Investment Commission) – assists businesses to grow their business in international markets. Find out about export markets, grants and assistance, and expanding your business outside Australia.
- Australian Taxation Office – learn about support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples including information about business structures, common taxes and how to register for them, and how to get more help.
- Business.gov.au – a whole-of-government service providing independent business advice and help with support and training, as well as support and funding through the Entrepreneurs' program.
- Business Toolkit for Indigenous Women – profiles information on starting and running a business with 6 Indigenous women who share their experiences and tips on how to start and run your business, balance family and community obligations, manage your business life, and learn when and where to get help.
- Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) – helps small- to medium-sized Indigenous businesses through business workshops, access to business advice for start-ups and growing businesses, and subsidised business skilled mentors.
- Indigenous Governance Toolkit – an online resource developed for Indigenous nations, communities, individuals and organisations searching for information to build their governance. Provides educational resources, examples, tools and guidance.
- Indigenous Land Corporation – assists Indigenous people with the acquisition and management of land to achieve economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.
- Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations – supports and regulates corporations under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).
- Regional Development Australia (RDA) – a national network of local leaders and business people bringing together all levels of government to enhance the development of Australian regions and developing local solutions to local issues.
- Supply Nation – a certified supplier database for majority owned, controlled and managed Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander businesses. Provides support, tailored advice and guidance, including:
- Indigenous Business Direct – a free Australia-wide online directory which provides capability and skills assessment, access to business resources, business and industry insights/market intelligence, and commercial finance options.
Resources for Indigenous businesses
- ADBT (Aboriginal Development Benefits Trust) – provides key support services including small business finance and support, community economic development, and community infrastructure.
- Because of Her, We Can ebook – read inspirational stories of Indigenous business women from around Australia.
- First Australians Capital (FAC) – empowers Indigenous Australians to strengthen cultural values, stimulate creativity and innovation, and create jobs and build economic self-sufficiency.
- First Australians Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FACCI) – the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and their representative bodies. Acts as a key conduit between the First Australians business sector, government and corporate Australia.
- Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) – a registered charity and not-for-profit community development organisation which provides access to skilled volunteers and resources. ICV volunteers share their expertise to support Indigenous communities and businesses.
- Industry Capability Network (ICN) – register as a supplier and be notified about supply opportunities. The ICN works with government and the private sector to list major infrastructure, industrial, energy and resources projects, and suppliers.
- Jawun – partners with leading Australian companies and government agencies to place skilled business people into Indigenous organisations.
- Many Rivers Microfinance Limited – a not-for-profit organisation which supports aspiring business owners with microenterprise development support and access to finance.
- QMI Solutions – seeks to improve skills, performance, innovation and capability of the Queensland manufacturing industry.
- Regional networks including:
- Balkanu - Cape York Development Corporation – a not-for-profit organisation supporting Aboriginal people of Cape York to drive broad spectrum economic, social and cultural development programs
- Cairns Regional Indigenous Business Network – a not-for-profit association which advocates on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, helps build capacity and fosters trade opportunities
- South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce – aims to foster trade, build skills and capability, and advocate and generate wealth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses
- Townsville Region Indigenous Business Network – a not-for-profit association which advocates on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enterprises, fosters trade agreements, helps build business capacity, and provides regular networking events.
Grants, funding programs and support
- Advancing Indigenous business initiative – delivers grants, workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities to support Indigenous owned businesses to develop, grow and succeed.
- Small Business Digital Grants Program – matched funding is available for eligible small businesses to access digital technologies and services.
- Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) – access local, Queensland and Australian government information including business development grants, subsidies and support services.
- Grants, assistance and other assistance tool – search for Queensland and Australian government support, funding, and assistance packages.
- Queensland Government Grants Finder – search for Queensland grants and assistance programs.
Read how to find, apply and complete grant applications.
Mentoring and networking opportunities
Mentoring and networking programs provide an opportunity for you to build, develop and grow your business:
- ASBAS (Australian Small Business Advisory Services) – provides free or low cost advisory and information services, including:
- Greater Brisbane Small Business Advisory Services – Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redland local government areas
- Bundaberg Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) – Bundaberg, Fraser Coast and Gympie local government areas
- Gulf Savannah Development – Burke, Carpentaria, Croydon, Doomadgee, Etheridge, Mareeba, Mornington and Tablelands Regional local government areas
- NORTEC Small Business Solutions – Gold Coast and Tweed local government areas
- Townsville Business Development Centre – Burdekin, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, McKinlay, Mount Isa, Palm Island, Richmond and Townsville local government areas.
- Independent directory – matches skilled directors to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations
- Mentoring for Growth (M4G) program – provides an opportunity to build, develop and grow by working with mentors in a supportive group environment
- Small Business Solutions mentoring program – gives small business owners access to skilled government-subsidised business mentors
- Townsville Region Indigenous Business Network – holds regular networking events providing opportunities for Indigenous business owners to meet on an informal basis.
Workshops and events
Search the following resources for small business workshops, seminars, forums and events in Queensland:
- Advance Queensland events – find events, workshops, conferences and webinars
- Business Queensland events calendar – search for Queensland business events, seminars and workshops
- Chambers of Commerce – for example, search Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland events and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry events
- DSDMIP workshops and community engagement – attend local workshops or events about tendering to government, procurement, and collaborating and finding partnerships
- Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) workshops – business workshops for start-up and growing Indigenous businesses
- Innovate Queensland – access capacity building workshops, webinars and collaboration activities to help Queensland innovators, entrepreneurs and organisations
- Local council websites – check your council website for business workshops, forums and events.
- Last reviewed: 22 Nov 2018
- Last updated: 20 Dec 2018