Within the South Australian context, Aboriginal enterprises have been predominately isolated with no formal or informal supporting mechanisms to create further business opportunities. This is unlike other areas of Australia which have various types of representative structures such as:
- NSW Indigenous Business Chambers of Commerce
- Mandurah Hunter Indigenous Business Chambers
- NT Indigenous Business Network
- VIC Kinaway Aboriginal Chambers
- South East Queensland Indigenous Chambers of Commerce
- Townsville regional Indigenous Business Network
- Pilbara Aboriginal Contractors Association
- Indigenous Business Women’s Network
- Equally Western Australia and Far North Queensland are in the process of establishing formal bodies.
The South Australian Government has given a number of commitments to ensuring Aboriginal Communities are supported, including changes to the SA Government Procurement procedures to enable greater Aboriginal Business participation. The Department of State Development is working on developing an Aboriginal Economic Participation Strategy to further enhance Aboriginal opportunities towards greater business and employment outcomes.
Recently a register of Aboriginal businesses has been developed to identify known businesses, the sectors they work in and geographical locations. As a result there is a growing awareness in South Australia (SA) of the need of a formal mechanism that has a focus purely on creating:
- A commercially focused business mechanism to support existing Aboriginal Businesses
- A formal mechanism that can identify and link business sectors with Aboriginal enterprise to create opportunity
- A professional mechanism that can represent the Aboriginal businesses of SA and lobby for opportunities and changes within Government, across sectors and liaise with other business chambers in the state and nationally
The newly established Aboriginal Business Industry Chamber of South Australia will do this.