Left to Right: Leslie Delaforce, Andrew Hagger, Shelley Cable (Minderoo Foundation), Hon Dave Kelly MLA, Matthew Pavlich (PickStar) and Ian Brown (Chairman Perth Angels) at the announcement of the Masterclass. Photo Credit: Emma Dolzadelli.
Barriers to Indigenous entrepreneurship will be addressed by a new program.
A new pilot program will seek to unearth Australia’s first known Indigenous ‘angel investor’ while also equipping Indigenous entrepreneurs with skills and capital to turbocharge their start-ups.
Generation One and Perth Angels will join the WA Government to fund the inaugural Indigenous Angel Investor and Entrepreneur Masterclass program – set to take place next month.
The program seeks to address the barriers Indigenous entrepreneurs face in accessing investment, and in becoming investors themselves, by further equipping Indigenous entrepreneurs with additional business knowledge and skills and facilitating mentoring so as to become investor ready.
Ms Cable said the project would help Indigenous entrepreneurs to become investor ready and attract more investment into the Indigenous start-up ecosystem, leading to business growth and job creation benefiting the broader community.
“Talent is widely distributed, but opportunity is not,” Ms Cable said. “For example, only a handful of Indigenous Australian businesses have ever raised equity finance. This is not for a lack of great Indigenous businesses or entrepreneurs.
“We want to connect more Indigenous businesses to investor networks, help Indigenous businesses become investor-ready, and recognise the wealth and power of Indigenous people to become investors themselves.
“Significant barriers exist to the knowledge, networks and opportunities for Indigenous Australians to enter the world of angel investing. In fact, the barriers are so great that we do not currently know of any accredited Indigenous angel investors. This program seeks to change that.”
Run in parallel over two days in November, the pilot Masterclasses will provide world-class mentoring that connects and empowers Indigenous people to explore early-stage and high growth investment and to learn skills and techniques to grow and scale a business.
If the pilot is successful, the program has the potential to expand nationally.
Perth Angels Chairman, Ian Brown, highlighted the importance of fostering a diverse and growing investor community in Australia.
“Growth and diversity are the key to unlocking a thriving Australian innovation ecosystem,” Mr Brown said.
“This program will bring together angel investors, industry experts and business leaders from across WA. We want to foster a network of empowered Indigenous investors passionate about making a meaningful impact in their communities.
“We hope to kickstart a flywheel of new investors supporting the entrepreneurs of today, to become the successes and investors of tomorrow – there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in early-stage investment in Australia”.
An initiative of Minderoo Foundation, Generation One has a mission of creating employment parity with and for Indigenous Australians within one generation.