Press release: Indigenous Entrepreneurs get their own program at Australia’s largest community of tech startups
November 7, 2017
Four innovative Indigenous entrepreneurs have been chosen for Barayamal’s 3-month Budding entrepreneurs (entrepreneurship development) program at Australia’s largest community of scalable tech startups, Fishburners.
In May 2017, Barayamal organised Give Backathon – a national charity hackathon that helped four Indigenous charities by providing tech-based solutions to increase their social impact (click here – full story).
The winning hackathon team received a 3-month membership at Fishburners valued at $900 per team member (total of $3,600). However, in the spirit of the event and giving back to the community, the hackathon team “paid it forward” by donating their prize back to Barayamal so four Indigenous Entrepreneurs could have the life-changing opportunity to work on their startup ideas and help their communities.
Annie Parker CEO of Fishburners said “paying it forward” is everything Fishburners is about.
“We are really proud to partner with Barayamal and welcome four new teams of Indigenous Entrepreneurs as members of Fishburners.
“Our values are centred on collaboration, brilliance, community and diversity, and all of our members contribute and give back to our community and I’m thrilled the winning hackathon team did just that, which now guarantees these four deserving Entrepreneurs will now join Fishburners”, Ms Parker said.
According to the latest government employment study, the Indigenous unemployment rate is currently 21%, an increase of 4.3 percentage points since 2008, and is 4 times the current non-Indigenous unemployment rate of 5%. In addition, Indigenous businesses are 100 times more likely to hire Indigenous people, less than 1% of Australian businesses are Indigenous owned, despite representing 3% of the population.
Through disempowerment and lack of opportunity, the Indigenous community in Australia has the highest rate of suicide of any community in the world. By empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs, we could help re-shape these statistics and our communities.
Barayamal’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program aims to accelerate the success of four Indigenous entrepreneurs by providing free 3-month memberships at Australia’s leading tech startup hub and support will also include a world-class entrepreneur development program from Australia’s Indigenous Business Accelerator, Barayamal and will provide one-on-one mentoring from successful Indigenous and non-Indigenous entrepreneurs. The program will officially kick off in January, 2018.
Founder of Barayamal, Dean Foley said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs can make a valuable contribution to their communities and help close the gap through innovative businesses.
“This program creates new opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs to grow and accelerate their business. We are passionate about supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs because we believe real Indigenous entrepreneurship is the high growth and impact solution that will help close the disadvantage gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”
“There is only so much we (Barayamal) can do with no support from the Government but we love what we are doing – helping other Indigenous entrepreneurs achieve success and empowering youth with invaluable entrepreneurship and coding skills to achieve their dreams and create a better world for all who live in it.”
The meaning of Barayamal
Barayamal means ‘Black Swan’ in Kamilaroi language and the goal of the program is to help Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people build successful businesses through entrepreneurship training and programs.
Black swans were first seen by Europeans in 1697 but before that, Europeans had only known of a white swan. In this instance, the black swan represents Indigenous entrepreneurs who have not been noticed in the world for their innovative businesses. Barayamal plans to show the world that Indigenous entrepreneurs exist and they can also build global businesses.
Fishburners pioneered coworking for startups in Australia and is now a collective of coworking spaces for scalable tech startups in Sydney, Brisbane and Shanghai. A not for profit, Fishburners exists to inspire and support entrepreneurs and teams to not only start, but to scale for impact. More than 900 startups have started their journey with us so far. Driven by our values and community, our members and alumni are some of Australia’s best. As of late 2017 Fishburners will be an anchor tenant in Sydney’s startup hub.