A Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic is calling for greater support and recognition of Indigenous businesses during Australia's inaugural Indigenous Business Month, this October.
Indigenous Business Month is an initiative of the program's alumni, to promote the variety and depth of Indigenous businesses nationally and to represent this in the national conversation.
"From mining through to the arts, Indigenous businesses contribute to the national economy and local communities in the form of enhanced employment opportunities, diversity and innovation but until now, the national conversation has been focused on disadvantage," Professor Evans said.
"The MURRA alumni seek to change this. They are committed to helping Indigenous people become independently in control of their own finances and businesses; creating a future for themselves, their family and communities.
"There are a lot of initiatives for Indigenous arts and culture but this emphasis on a creative and sustainability based economy means Indigenous people need to be equipped with entrepreneurial business skills."
Professor Evans also believes there needs to be recognition of potential cultural tensions and support for bridging them.
"As Indigenous entrepreneurship engages with the cultural economy there is potential tension around the idea of commoditising culture," Professor Evans said.
"We need to create a space where community leaders, entrepreneurs and skilled business people can come together to share knowledge and have serious discussions about the future.
"There are a lot of exciting opportunities for Indigenous business and education is key to helping people grasp them. Indigenous Business Month provides a vehicle for people to gain this business knowledge and we hope it grows over time."
During Indigenous Business Month Professor Evans will be supporting alumni of the MURRA program by participating in expert panels and conducting a virtual event at the end of the month as a part of CSU's inaugural symposium on Indigenous business.
For more information please visit the Indigenous Business Month website.
Read more about CSU research about increasing Indigenous business success here.