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Barayamal partners with Fishburners to launch program for Indigenous entrepreneurs

Indigenous-focused accelerator program Barayamal has announced partnership with Fishburners that will see four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs selected to take participate in its new three month ‘Budding Entrepreneurs Program’.

Designed to nurture innovative ideas, the program will give each participant access to Barayamal’s Entrepreneurship Development Program, where they will be mentored by the Barayamal network and take part in workshops, with the organisation promising “culturally appropriate support”.

Participants will be able to choose between residing at Fishburners’ Brisbane or Sydney locations, with the latter to be situated in the new $35 million startup hub currently being developed with funding from the NSW Government.

As Fishburners residents, the program’s startups will be able to tap into the space’s resources, allowing them an opportunity to participate in events, weekly workshops, and additional mentorship.

Residency in the space will be free for each participant, as well as access to legal, accounting, marketing, design and PR advice in a move to bolster each startup’s opportunities.

The Budding Entrepreneurs Program extends upon Baraymal’s existing initiatives, including a pre-accelerator program targeting Indigenous founders which ran towards the end of last year.

Australia’s first Indigenous-focused startup accelerator, the program was founded by Dean Foley, who incepted the idea after launching the first Indigenous Startup Weekend early last year.

Supported by Slingshot, the pre-accelerator program saw five tech-based Indigenous startups participate, including Yulngu App, a platform allowing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to upload and sell their art direct to customers.

Despite the support, Foley said his budget for the program was “zero”, as the program didn’t have any funding.

“My marketing was just to go out to the people I know, the people who attended Startup Weekend, and asking if they wanted to participate,” Foley said at the time.

“We’re just working very lean; it’s all about getting these Indigenous startups up and running and getting them to close the gap by increasing employment and economic development in their communities.”

According to the latest government employment study, Indigenous employment in Australia sits at 48 percent; Baraymal believes that Indigenous businesses present a high-growth and employment solution.

To apply for the program, entrepreneurs must supply proof of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage and have a startup less than two years old. The idea or model for the startup must also have a positive impact on the Indigenous community.

Foley, in collaboration with Fishburners and Terri Waller, managing director of SevGen Indigenous Corporation, will form a panel that interviews each startup shortlisted for the program.

You can find more about the program here.

Image Source: Barayamal.

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