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Noongar Enterprise Development

In 2018 RDA Wheatbelt secured two third party contracts from the Australian Government Department for Social Services from the ‘Inclusive Communities’ fund. The funding, initially for 3 yrs to support Aboriginal Enterprise Development in the Yued and Ballardong Nyungar (Noongar) regions of the Wheatbelt, was extended by an additional year before concluding in June 2022. 

The ‘Noongar Enterprise Development Support’ (NEDS) projects encouraged and supported social enterprise and small Aboriginal businesses through creating a culturally appropriate learning environment for Aboriginal people towards increasing economic activity and employment.

Over the term of the projects, 120 Aboriginal people have been assisted in finding out more about setting up a small business and the opportunities offered. Whilst many of these people may not progress to the final stage of running a business and possibly accessing funding opportunities, they are learning many valuable skills along the journey. Other participants have been referred on to organisations that can assist in the next stages of their business and those that have good prospects for future employment opportunities were supported to develop a detailed business plan. Some of the businesses include, Astrotourism storytellers, youth cultural experiences, four tourism businesses, horse trainer, aquaponics social enterprise and an education pilot to increase school attendance of Aboriginal students. A range of activities and development opportunities have been delivered, including workshops, supporting Aboriginal people in the Yued region to get a driver’s licence, enabling them to operate a small business or the opportunity to gain employment, local social groups formed, a golf based social enterprise and an Aboriginal business consultant.

Project Officers worked closely with participants to support them through the business set up process including registering a business name, applying for a tax file number and ABN, completing basic computer, budget and bookkeeping training, a business plan, marketing plan, insurance requirements and a website.

One of the Project Officers now operates his own business consultancy service. Robert has developed a culturally appropriate business training manual and has a large range of contacts in local government, business sector, Aboriginal services and Departments.

An intended outcome of the program was to develop and support a local social enterprise group to gain business skills in order to take on the Noongar Enterprise Development Support projects and continue to support small businesses in the region. Whilst this had not been achieved, we are really excited for the future as our Project Officer that now operates his own consulting business supporting Aboriginal entrepreneurs.

For business support please contact Robert Miles – Six Seasons Connect

An 8 minute Case Study video has been filmed showcasing some of the participants and the projects. Download the video.

Download the comprehensive evaluation of the NEDS projects 2018-2021.

Download the evaluation of the fourth and final year of the NEDS projects.

Supporting Aboriginal enterprise development