Kimberley Aboriginal women are being invited to participate in a free business class, worth more than $4500, established by local group Kimberley Jiyigas in partnership with the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia and Westpac.
The grassroots Self Development and Self Employment Enhancer Circle skills program will be run by Kimberley Jiyigas and plans to build the business capabilities of emerging Aboriginal businesswomen across the region.
Kimberley Jiyigas managing director Natasha Short said over the next 15 months, the SDSE Enhancer Circle program would support small groups of Indigenous women as they learn about business and money basics.
“Our program supports women as they learn about how to balance life and work stresses and how they can take their business idea and turn it into a sustainable, profitable business or job opportunity,” she said.
“It’s also about providing women with skills and tools to navigate business and money management to support long-term success.”
CRCNA chief executive Anne Stunzner said the organisation was committed to supporting the program, which promises to be much more than your “average” business course.
“Throughout this program, Natasha and her team will use their skills to implement a culturally appropriate training model to help women grow in confidence and skills,” she said.
“Developing the capability of Indigenous women across the East Kimberley is about ensuring women and their families are best placed to access emerging economic development opportunities.
“We want to ensure the local community shares in the future employment and business opportunities that will grow from established and emerging industries and the research development and engineering investment from the CRCNA.”
The SDSE Enhancer Circle program will have 20 places for aspiring Aboriginal business women to participate in face-to-face, small group and virtual training sessions spread over 15 months from May.
The training will wrap up with an on country camp in Kununurra during September this year and a conference in mid 2023.
Westpac’s national head of Indigenous banking Suzi Hullick said Westpac is proud to be working alongside Kimberley Jiyigas and the CRCNA to help women across the East Kimberley bring their business ideas to life.
“I visited Kalumburu last year for an economic roundtable and I was impressed with the ideas I heard coming from local women who wanted to start their own businesses,” she said.
“I am very passionate about this program and helping support Kimberley women to build a better future.”