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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Regional meeting highlights entrepreneurial action

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Tuesday, August 01, 2017

    Regional meeting highlights entrepreneurial action

    Far North Queensland’s innovative Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and communities will be recognised at a special meeting in Cairns today (Tuesday).

    Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group will gather for the first time this afternoon in Cairns.

    Ms Enoch said holding the meeting in Cairns recognises the innovative ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned small businesses in regional areas are embracing the advantages of the digital economy.

    “The reference group is an outstanding assembly of 13 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs, business leaders and researchers to provide strategic advice on matters that impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and communities,” Ms Enoch said.

    “This meeting follows several recent developments to champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business growth and innovation, including the establishment of DHIVE in Cairns as the first Indigenous-led digital innovation and inclusion hub."

    The reference group includes its newest member Mundanara Bayles, managing director and co-founder of cultural education consultancy firm Blackcard, and Cairns-based social entrepreneur Julie-ann Lambourne.

    Ms Lambourne is the CEO of enVizion Group, a training provider specialising in pre-employment, life skills and mentoring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    “The digital economy offers tremendous opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business to flourish and prosper,” Ms Lambourne said.

    “As a Cairns local, I’m very proud of some of the programs that have emerged in the regions around Queensland, and this meeting - which brings together entrepreneurs, business leaders and researchers - will be another catalyst to drive ideas and innovation.”

    Along with the establishment of the reference group, the Advancing Indigenous Business (AIB) initiative is being implemented as part of the Palaszczuk Government's $22.7 million Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016-20.

    Ms Enoch said less than one per cent of businesses in Australia were owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    “We are aiming to boost the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses in Queensland, and to improve business survival rates,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The AIB initiative and the strategic advice of the reference group form part of a more coordinated approach across the Palaszczuk Government to connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small businesses to opportunities and support.”

    For more information, visit http://advance.qld.gov.au/small-business/atsi-business-innovation-reference-group.aspx

    ENDS

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