The Changing Indigenous Business Landscape
In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Indigenous Australian businesses that have emerged in the Australian market. The number of Indigenous businesses has almost tripled since 2006, contributing to almost 5 billion dollars of income and employing over 45,000 people.1
As this increase in Indigenous businesses has gained momentum, the goal of these enterprises has changed. The objective for many Indigenous Australians to start a business has now shifted to the realm of creating and maintaining wealth through positive collaboration with other businesses.
Warlows Legal’s Indigenous Clientele
Warlows Legal has always felt passionate about serving the Indigenous Australian community with their legal needs. We have achieved this through successfully serving our many Indigenous clients, assisting them in the legal complexities of starting a company, as well as the legal issues that appear from time to time in running the business. Warlows legal has also recently started their Indigenous Business Clinic, that exists to give free legal advice to those Indigenous Australians starting a business for the first time.
Supply Aus and Protect You
At the end of 2021, we were lucky enough to witness the start of a healthy business collaboration between two of our clients, Supply Aus Pty Ltd and Protect You Holding’s Pty Ltd.
Shawn Andrews, the Director of Supply Aus and Adam Williams, The CEO of supply Aus are both Indigenous Australians who have created a business specialized in providing industry leading products, including PPE, uniforms, and office supplies. They actively seek to promote Indigenous businesses when procuring their products.
Protect You is an Australian business whose focus is providing medical equipment that is of high quality, including hand sanitizers, facemasks, and hospital grade disinfectant, among many other products. Their focus has always been to protect Australians and their customers by keeping the community safe and healthy.
During the devastating Covid-19 Pandemic these two businesses have collaborated in supplying the Victorian Government, as well as the Australian public with high quality health equipment. They further, assisted in providing the Australian people with much needed Rapid Antigen Tests, at a time when cases were growing exponentially and the need for these tests were becoming desperate.
They Met through a mutual business contract when Supply Aus was asked to supply millions of hand sanitizers and face masks. As they both worked in similar fields, both businesses decided to act as a joint venture. With their complimentary skill sets, they successfully chartered planes from overseas and brought these much-needed items to Australia.
This business partnership is still growing, as they plan to converge these business activities into one business that will be majority owned by Indigenous Australians. They have also partnered with Samsung and will be the Australian agents for new medical technology related to ECG equipment.
Although there were challenges involved in this venture, as the two businesses were previously unknown to each other, the benefit to all involved is apparent in their successful business outcomes.
Looking to the future
Many Indigenous Australians that have successfully traversed the financial challenges of starting a successful business, have turned their attention to using their capacities to give back to their communities. Such ventures have included the creation of programs geared towards the education of indigenous Australian’s language and culture, as well as the preservation of their history. Warlows Legal believes that these businesses are leading the way to a better future for all Australians.
1Indigenous Business Sector Snapshot, Melbourne University, 14 April 2021, < https://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/ibl/assets/snapshot/RFQ03898-M-and-M-Snapshot-Study.pdf>.