2020 Indigenous Business Month theme announced: Invigorate, build, maintain our sector  

[supplied by 33 Creative]


Image: supplied

This year’s theme for Indigenous Business Month, held annually in October, is designed to encourage, motivate and sustain the Indigenous business sector, in the face of COVID-19.


The 2020 theme Invigorate, Build, Maintain to keep our sector strong, is a practical call to arms – acknowledging that businesses across all sectors are met by challenging times in 2020, and acknowledging we all have a role to play in keeping the Indigenous business sector strong.


Now in its sixth year, Indigenous Business Month is an initiative driven by the alumni of Melbourne Business School’s MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class, who see business as a way of providing positive role models for young Indigenous Australians and improving the quality of life in Indigenous communities.


Indigenous Business Month Co-Founder Michelle Evans said this year’s theme embodied inclusivity, against the backdrop of a tumultuous 2020.


“2020 has not been without challenges for many business owners. Across our country we’ve seen bushfires, floods, and COVID-19 restrictions impact the day to day operations and livelihood for business owners and operators big and small,” said Michelle, MURRA Program Director and Associate Professor of Leadership at the University of Melbourne.


“But what we’ve also seen is an outpouring of support nationally, and globally for Indigenous equality, through the global Black Lives Matter movement.


“All businesses can play a role in keeping our sector strong. Now is the time to invorgate, build and maintain your relationships with Indigenous business including through investment in Indigenous businesses as part of supply chains.”


Indigenous Business Month Co-Founder Mayrah Sonter, also wants to see individuals interact and support Indigenous Business Month.


“There is so much goodwill and acknowledgement of First Nations challenges this year. But also, many Australian’s might be unaware of how to best support Indigenous businesses. We say, now is the time to buy black!” said Mayrah, Co-Founder and Director of First Nations communications, media and events agency 33 Creative.


“Do your Christmas shopping online, buy from Indigenous businesses and know that your contribution is helping to keep businesses open, but also keep our sector strong.” Indigenous Business Month Co-Founder Leesa Watego said businesses across the country were already pivoting, with many looking at new and innovative way to re-orientate their business model.


“I’ve spoken to dozens and dozens of small business owners across the country over the last few months. Without a doubt, it’s tough, many families, businesses and communities are struggling. But constantly, I am proud of our sector and the ingenuity of our people, their resilience and commitment,” said Leesa, Co-Founder and Owner of Brisbane based agency Iscariot Media.


“This year’s theme acknowledges every Indigenous business journey this year. It reflects that each business owner, in their own way is constantly invigorating, building or maintaining – it’s what we do and it’s what we need to keep doing for our own livelihood, the good of our communities and the strength of our sector.”


The 2020 Indigenous Business Month Awards will showcase the outstanding achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses acknowledging businesses that are finding new and innovative ways to build and maintain their businesses.


Nominations are now open across the three categories:


1. I2I Award: Indigenous businesses buying from and/or supplying to fellow Indigenous businesses build an interconnected and strong Indigenous business sector by supporting each other. Instances of mentoring and peer-to-peer support or development of new ventures and/or initiatives are encouraged in this category. This award celebrates the commitment by Indigenous businesses to strengthen and grow our sector through trading and working together.


2. Indigenous Digital Inventiveness Award: Indigenous digital inventiveness is maturing in Australia. Communities are more connected than ever through digital expression (emails, instant messaging and texting) and at a much larger scale through digital enterprise (business operations and technology). This award celebrates the intersection between cultural creativity, business nous, and technology.


3. Indigenous Ingenuity Award: Indigenous business has a role to play in using business models to confront challenging community issues. This award celebrates an Indigenous business who is working hard to solve challenges in partnerships with Indigenous communities.


Embodying the theme this year’s awards will be acknowledged virtually - a commitment all three co-founders have undertaken to invigorate, build and maintain momentum of Indigenous Business Month, pivoting to a new approach that encourages national participation while maintaining COVID safe communities.


Indigenous Business Month runs from October 1 to October 31.


This year’s events are encouraged to be registered via the website and live streamed digitally using #IBM2020Live.


Resources will be available to support organisations, community and businesses hosting an event.


The initiative is supported by 33 Creative, MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class Program, Iscariot Media and PwC.

For more information on Indigenous Business Month visit www.indigenousbusinessmonth.com.au or connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. #IndigBizMonth



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