$3 billion boost for Indigenous businesses in Australia

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The Business Council of Australia has unveiled a new initiative, Raising the Bar, with a commitment from some of Australia’s biggest businesses to spend over AU$3bn with Indigenous suppliers over 5 years. This initiative is a new collaboration between Business Council members and Indigenous supplier diversity organisation Supply Nation.

Indigenous businesses with the support of large corporates can benefit from such arrangements by creating local jobs and improving their communities. For example, Dreamtime Tuka supply Qantas and Jilpanti Enterprises who supply Fortescue Metals Group have already established successful supply partnerships.

Joining the Raising the Bar initiative are businesses from a diverse range of industries, including professional services – EY, KPMG and McKinsey & Company, financial services – Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac, mining – BHP, Fortescue Metals Group, Rio Tinto, as well as technology giants Microsoft and Programmed.

“This is game changing, businesses aren’t just creating economic value they’re helping build economic capacity in Indigenous businesses. We’re already working to foster entrepreneurship, economic partnership and building lasting links with Indigenous suppliers and this is a chance to do even more”, said Jennifer Westacott, Business Council Chief Executive.

“Procurement agreements have already helped boost Indigenous owned businesses like Dreamtime Tuka who started supplying Qantas in 2015 and grew to supply 500 per cent more in just 4 years.

She added “Business Council member companies are already some of the biggest employers of Indigenous people, employing more than 20,000 Indigenous Australians. Business has a pivotal role in ending the economic exclusion that deprives some communities of the opportunities that only economic growth can provide. Every Australian should be able to realise their full potential.”

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