Indigenous first: Impact first.
Investing in indigenous Australians is investing in a future fuelled by the depth of our creative and cultural capital as a nation. The act of creating pathways and building systems that take forward the knowledge brought about by over 60,000+ years of successful enterprise, has the power to drive a new economy strengthened by unlimited potential.
First Australians Capital backs Indigenous-led entrepreneurs and enterprises to create solutions that empower Indigenous Australians, removing the barriers commonly experienced in accessing true economic inclusion. We catalyse our unique cultural capital in ways that inspire innovation, entrepreneurial thinking, and give life to new industries and new pathways to success. And we take others on our journey.
Our “Indigenous Business Growth Report“, commissioned in partnership with Supply Nation, identified that the children of business owners are more likely to graduate, 54% of Indigenous businesses sponsor local sports teams and cultural events, and 56% frequently provide pro-bono advice and support. The success of indigenous Australians is indeed the success of all Australians.
By providing access to capital and wrap-around support services, we provide Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners with the support they need to seed, grow and transform organisations and industries; and we de-risk investments with support that guides sustainable business practice and leads to a strengthened economy and more prosperous future.
We have supported over 400 Indigenous led organisations with thousands of hours of mentorship, guidance and advice and access to over $42m in capital. And whilst we are demonstrating that Indigenous businesses are great investment options, it is important that we develop systems that can make visible the resulting benefits that deeply and broadly enrich our communities.
First Australians Capital has recently appointed Indigenous Impact expert Craig North as Impact Partner. A Bidjara man from Central Queensland, Craig has deep experience working with Indigenous business, in terms of supporting ‘investment readiness’ and delivering Indigenous investments with a long-term positive impact. Craig’s experience has a natural synergy with the First Australians Capital mandate and as Impact Partner, Craig will embark on the important work to create an Indigenous Impact Framework that not only makes impact visible, but that can be widely accepted by the market as a way of increasing future investment in the First Nations economy.
As Craig explains the approach “The idea is to drive an Indigenous-first principle; Indigenous impact led by Indigenous business – designing, driving and leading the impact they want for their business and communities” he says. “Impact must be informed and driven from the ground up; by building a framework led by Indigenous Australians that makes visible the enormous scope of financial, social, environmental and economic benefits that can be widely received by the market”.
“As the methodology in the impact investment market more broadly is developing, particularly for evaluating social and environmental returns, it’s critical that we also allow for a valuing of culture, and importantly, how culturally-based enterprise should and can be classified as an investment in a more sustainable economy” Craig says.
“With an adopted Indigenous Impact Framework as part of the deal flow driving the First Australians Capital Impact Fund which directly seeds the First Nations economy, Indigenous businesses will have increased investment options – we’re using impact as a vehicle to drive investment, creating opportunities and feeding a self-sustaining cycle of First Nations economic independence and empowerment”.
Craig also highlights First Australians Capitals plans to develop impact measurement tool kits for Indigenous businesses “….so entrepreneurs and businesses owners can design, direct and capture their impact, using credible methods to assist in attracting future investment”.
By investing in Indigenous Australians, we have the power to drive a new economy; one that measures the cyclical and sustainable impact of First Nations’ enterprise and one that quantifies the benefits of inclusion of the world’s oldest living culture in driving our economic prosperity as a Nation.