It’s not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change
— Charles Darwin
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Imagine uncovering a market more than one billion dollars, largely untapped and readily accessible. This is the reality for a number of ethnic market channel, but one that can no longer be ignored is that of Australia’s Indigenous business community.

This is not a debate about social justice. ‘Sorry’ is merely the beginning uttered by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The momentum must be followed by commercial enterprise where the opportunities are tremendous for all stakeholders, and where the natural consequence is social equity.

Consider the income from the top 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations in the 08/09 year, up by more than $100m from the previous year to $1.18b. Assets held by the same group amount to $1.22b in a community that employs nearly 10,000 people and records positive growth year on year.

Savvy Australian companies have already employed Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) to promote social development for Indigenous Australians, but the most vital part of these plans is for the best part missing. Commercial enterprise between communities is the magic that secures effectiveness, longevity and profitability for both stakeholders.  

We must be doing business with Indigenous Australians if we are to grow in these uncertain times. Find a list of Indigenous businesses at ORIC, The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations. Include Indigenous companies in your supplier list by connecting with AIMSC, the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council.

In this economic climate, change is fundamental to survival. To quote Darwin, ‘it is NOT the strongest that survive, it is NOT most intelligent, it is those most ready to CHANGE’.

Can you afford not to change and include this market segment in your business?

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