In a training first, eight local small business owners will soon play a vital role in supporting and developing a sustainable future for Indigenous businesses throughout Cairns and across Queensland after recently graduating from the Advance Queensland - One Business program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Funded by the Queensland Government and delivered by TAFE Queensland, the eight participants are the first Indigenous small business owners in Queensland to graduate as qualified One Business Trainers.
Proud Aboriginal man Brendan Bishop is one of the first TAFE Queensland trained Indigenous business facilitators and is looking forward to coaching other local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to further strengthen their businesses.
"The One Business program is important to me because it creates a strong network of Indigenous business start-ups that can work together to achieve great things," Brendan said.
“Having support during your business start-up stage is a great contributor to businesses being successful during the first three years of operations,” he said.
A descendent of the Kamilaroi people of South-West Queensland, Brendan was the founder of The Alarm Guys Pty Ltd, the first Indigenous-owned and operated Electronic Security company in Australia, which he built from the ground up and then sold.
Because of this business knowledge and expertise Brendan became a highly sought-after Indigenous business mentor, coach, and facilitator. It’s an area that he’s deeply passionate about.
"I have been facilitating Indigenous business and economic development programs since 2012 and it’s immensely satisfying, knowing that I can contribute to the next generation of Indigenous business owners," Brendan said.
In 2017 Brendan established Indigenous Business Builders with the aim of providing Indigenous business and economic development services across Australia. Since then, he has delivered hundreds of Indigenous business development workshops across the country and has assisted many more businesses during their start-up, growth, and expansion stages.
"I hope to achieve Indigenous economic independence through entrepreneurship," Brendan said.
“By working with the next generation of Indigenous business owners we are creating our own economy and access to many more employment and training opportunities for local Indigenous people," he said.
Brendan has a suite of qualifications, but he believes it's what he's learned on the job through his own Indigenous business experiences and his board representations that is most valuable to the Indigenous economy.
The One Business program gives Indigenous business owners and innovators an exceptional opportunity to learn from the expertise of established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs. The program is creating more pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to innovate and build robust and successful businesses by exploring targeted opportunities for business growth. The first cohort of One Business participants will lead the program’s training and coaching advice on creating new local jobs and maximising Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
The program is available to all Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders who are innovators, entrepreneurs and/or own a micro to small and medium-sized business.
For more information about the Advance Queensland – One Business program, or to become a One Business Trainer, visit https://go.tafeqld.edu.au/Advance-Queensland.html.