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Barayamal aims to close the gap for Indigenous entrepreneurs

A new group on Facebook is providing a forum for Indigenous entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, network, receive mentoring and stay up to date with the latest news and information, with the ultimate aim of growing the number of Indigenous entrepreneurs in Australia.

The closed group, called the Barayamal Network, already has 800 members, including successful Indigenous entrepreneurs, technologist and community members, since launching in April.

The group was started by Dean Foley, the CEO and founder of Barayamal, which claims to be Australia’s first Indigenous business accelerator.

Foley started Barayamal in November 2016 to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs to create employment and community solutions that make a real difference.

The organisation has since established CoderDojo First Nations coding clubs and the Budding Entrepreneurs Program, which supports Indigenous business innovators in developing their ideas and taking them to market.

Foley noted that there were more than 11,538 Indigenous business owner-managers in Australia in 2016, up 29.8 per cent from 8,891 in 2011. But despite this growth, Australia’s Indigenous economy still lags other countries.

Through the new Facebook group, he hopes to bring together a network of people who want to “help each other and grow the Indigenous economy to create more opportunities in our communities that will help close the disparity gap through economic development”.

According to recent poll in the Barayamal Network, a top concern of group members is the need for more funding and grants for First nations businesses.

Barayamal is seeking support from Australian political parties, philanthropists and entrepreneurs to help empower Indigenous entrepreneurs to drive real change.

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