Following the success of their first Sydney workshop earlier this year, Pollenizer and muru-D have announced a second event for Indigenous entrepreneurs, to be held in Perth on the weekend of 14 November.
The idea for the first workshop came when muru-D’s Annie Parker noticed a lack of applications from Indigenous Australians for the accelerator, a problem reflecting the lack of support and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the wider business landscape – though 96 percent of Australian businesses are small businesses, less than 1 percent are Aboriginal-owned. The stats even worse stats in the startup scene.
Given Pollenizer’s previous collaborations with muru-D, the two organisations partnered again to hold The Path to Digital – the name of which came from the translation of ‘muru’, which is an Indigenous word for ‘path to’, and D for digital – in Redfern.
The workshop took a group of founders through a range of activities to help them validate their business ideas and turn them into digital businesses.
Nine entrepreneurs took part, coming up with pitches varying from culturally-appropriate health messages for pregnant Indigenous women to an augmented reality system linking art to an artist’s culture and stories, and a platform rating Indigenous-friendly businesses. The founders have continued to work on their startups following the event.
The Perth workshop is to be held at Sync Labs, with tickets reserved for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Shelley Cable, a participant at the Sydney event, has signed up to be a mentor to the entrepreneurs in Perth.
Pollenizer’s Nicola Farrell said an event in the Northern Territory is next on the list, with the organisations hoping to create a series of events that focus on underrepresented founders in the community and look at ways to promote the diversity mandate that is desperately required in the Australian startup scene today.
“Our hope is to increase the likelihood of success in their digital business, all while supporting a culture of entrepreneurship,” she said.
muru-D also hopes to bring the businesses into future intakes of its accelerator and invest in them.
The event follows on from National Indigenous Business Month, a series of events put on around Australia this month by the MURRA Indigenous Master Class Program at the Melbourne Business School. The initiative was created to address the economic disadvantage faced by Indigenous Australians and to help raise the capabilities of Indigenous businesses to grow.
Five travel grants of $1000 each are being offered to entrepreneurs interested in attending the workshop from interstate.
Entrepreneurs and startups interested in attending can find tickets here.
Image: The Sydney Path to Digital workshop. Source: Provided.