Priority 4: Increase entrepreneurship, business growth and innovation

The Queensland Government has clear ambitions to see more businesses start, innovate and grow to their potential and will continue to offer support and assistance in building the skills and knowledge of Indigenous business owners and operators.

The Queensland Government aims to build on strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders as growing Indigenous businesses is a highly viable pathway to creating opportunities.

Actions

Build the capability and capacity of Indigenous businesses through mentoring (Department of Employment, Small Business and Training).

Harness the Advance Queensland initiative to develop stronger pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers by supporting Research fellowships (up to $240,000) and PhD Scholarships (up to $120,000) over three years (Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport).

Convene a forum bringing together Indigenous business leaders, chambers of commerce representatives, researchers and thought leaders to help design new approaches to encouraging greater Indigenous entrepreneurship, business growth and innovation (Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport).

Case study: Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016–20

As part of the Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016–20, the Advancing Indigenous Business initiative led by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) delivered targeted support for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people who are business owners and operators, enabling them to unlock their full potential and navigate the rapidly changing economic landscape.

As part of this program, the Accelerate Indigenous Small Business Grants Program offered funding of up to $20,000 for high growth Indigenous small businesses to establish an advisory board or access high-level business support and advice that assisted their business to grow and employ more staff.

The following case studies demonstrate how the grant program supported businesses to grow and thrive both financially and non-financially.

Marrawah Law

Marrawah Law is a multi-award winning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal practice that was provided grant funding of $20,000 in 2017 through the Accelerating Indigenous Small Business Grants Program.

As a result of the grant, Marrawah Law has:

  • expanded the Cairns based firm from a home-based business and relocated to a corporate office, reporting a threefold increase in their client base
  • acquired an established law firm in Brisbane
  • employed four additional staff, the majority identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

Red Dirt Haulage Pty Ltd

Established in 2012, Red Dirt Haulage Pty Ltd is a majority-owned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander company based in Childers. Red Dirt Haulage provides haulage, earthworks and slashing services for both residential and commercial services across Queensland. In 2017, Red Dirt was funded $18,448 through the Accelerating Indigenous Small Business Grants Program to:

  • increase turnover by 50 per cent
  • create additional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment opportunities
  • increase their ability to meet applicable regulatory and compliance measures
  • increase their presence within the market. 

As a result of the grant, to the end of the reporting period, Red Dirt has:

  • doubled their annual turnover
  • employed five additional staff, two of whom identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • created a strong online presence that has increased their number of clients.

This case study was provided by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.