Indigenous Australians have access to government money to help start, operate, or expand a business. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders constitute about 2.5% of Australia’s population, but are underrepresented as business owners and have higher rates of unemployment than the overall rate among all Australians.
To help remedy these situations, government money is available at both the national and state/territorial level for various business funding programs.
Nationally, the programs that directly assist Indigenous businesses and jobseekers are the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support Program, Indigenous Employment Program, Indigenous Youth Mobility Program, Indigenous Youth Career Pathways Program, and Indigenous Wage Subsidy.
There’s also government money for cultural support and improved quality of life that can help provide and better foundation for overall success. For instance, there are the Indigenous Languages Support Program, Indigenous Culture Support Program, Indigenous Broadcasting Program, Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, and the Indigenous Heritage Program.
New South Wales, which is home to the greatest number of Indigenous Australians in the country, has government money available too. For instance, there are the Corporate Leaders for Indigenous Employment Project, National Indigenous Cadetship Project, Structured Training and Employment Projects, and Wage Assistance (a payment given to Australian employers as an incentive to employ Indigenous Australians).
Queensland, which is home to nearly as many Indigenous Australians as New South Wales, provides government money for the Indigenous Tourism Program, Indigenous Enterprise Development Officers (who help you develop your idea, plan your business, and improve your chances of success), and the QIAMEA Arts Partnership Program.
In Western Australia, the Small Business Development Corporation has an Indigenous Unit that helps Indigenous Western Australians find government money for business ventures. In addition to this, there’s government money allocated for an Indigenous Arts Development Program.
The Northern Territory, home to nearly 70,000 Indigenous Australians, offers the NT Indigenous Training for Employment Program and NT Research and Innovation Awards, both funded by government money.
Victoria’s government money funds Indigenous Arts Development, the Indigenous Economic Development Unit, and the Business Support Program.
South Australia uses its government money to fund Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Arts Development Project Assistance, which provides funding for artists and arts workers to undertake professional development opportunities.
Tasmania funds the Aboriginal Arts Fund, which is government money that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, Aboriginal arts organizations, and other organizations that are encourage the growth and development of contemporary, traditional, and non-traditional Aboriginal and art forms.
Australian Capital Territory has a low relatively number of Indigenous Australians and has not set aside any government money specifically to serve the business needs of this group, but there is still government money available to help everyone in the territory with business needs, and the Indigenous residents can take advantage of these.
Throughout most of Australia, there is government money for Indigenous Australians to get business assistance and improve other areas of life. The overall goal is to increase the employment and business ownership among Indigenous Australians, and the government money is helping to make a good start.