First Australians Capital view of 2021
As 2020 draws to a close, thoughts turn to 2021. We asked members of our leadership their thoughts about what we should expect to see in 2021 and what opportunities might lie ahead.
Jane Pound – Executive Director, Impact Capital
Resilience is the call out for the Indigenous business sector this year. For the businesses that were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria, FAC is poised to help support businesses re-build and to grow as we seek to trade out of lockdown.
Off the back of Australia’s significantly improved GDP growth and in line with a positive economic forecast, we are hoping that Indigenous businesses can similarly start to realise this momentum. This is particularly the case with infrastructure projects, where the Federal and State Governments continue to make significant investment commitments. We see an opportunity to work with Indigenous businesses to capitalise on this investment.
We understand the need for finance over the next 1-2 years is going to be paramount. Some Indigenous businesses are re-financing, others are planning for growth, whilst most will need access to working capital. FAC is able to support businesses with guidance and advice, whether that be for a pivot in focus or operations or a new-undertaking altogether.
Tara O’Connell – Head of Business Development
“While 2020 was certainly one of the most challenging years on record for all businesses, it was also a year of significant capacity building. Businesses of all shapes and sizes had to very quickly step out of their comfort zones and move into the digital space, and this is something that will continue to be of benefit for many years to come.
As retailers had to close their doors, we were able to support these businesses to move to an online sales model, and learn all about digital ‘sales funnels’ and the importance of a database … and how to get people to want to sign up to the database. Certainly a steep learning curve for many, but something that will continue to bring benefits even after physical doors re-open. Of course with borders closed it also saw our tourism businesses quickly learning new skills and even entering new markets such as youth programs, peer to peer training, and virtual tours.
Regardless of the industry, one thing that most of our business have learnt is that, when it comes to being online, the key is to stand out from the digital crowd. The one thing that sets every business apart from their competitors are the people who work in it. We recently piloted a “Digital Storytellers” workshop series and hope to offer it again in 2021, assisting all of our businesses to truly shine, online”.
Wayne Reid – Chief Financial Officer
“As the COVID-19 restrictions are being eased at a significant rate, we are moving towards a more “normal” existence. This has seen an increase in household spending, mainly in the Hotel, Restaurants and Cafes, Culture and Recreation businesses.
With the shift towards supporting more locally produced products and holidaying at home; Indigenous businesses will see opportunities to enter these markets, to grow their existing businesses or to be part of the supply chain. With First Australians Capital supporting these business, we are anticipating a more positive 2021.
This positive future will also provide investors with an opportunity to make a social impact by investing in FAC, so we can continue to help Indigenous business build their financial sustainability into the future”.
If you or your business needs support, access to networks, finance or advice, please get in touch and tell us about your business.