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ENTREPRENEURSHIP PATHWAYS PROGRAM

Increasing Participation of Indigenous Women in the Native Ag+Food Sector

Empowering First Nations Female Founders

The native ag+food sector is fundamental to Indigenous cultural and social identity. The lack of participation by Indigenous people (and women in particular) is likely to be impacting on their ability to secure economic, health, cultural and social benefits for themselves and their communities. 

Indigenous women face multiple barriers to participation as a result of their gender, cultural background, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status which creates a vicious cycle in which the lack of Indigenous role models negatively impacts on the career decisions of young Indigenous women.

The initial 12 month pilot project is a partnership between Food Futures Company,  Australian Native Food & Botanicals (ANFAB), Charles Sturt University (CSU) and Appetite Communications. The  pilot will focus on the development of a Native Ag+Food Entrepreneurship Pathways Framework that integrates cultural connections combined with the development of new knowledge and skills in a range of STEM disciplines. 

#CHOOSETOCHALLENGE

In partnership with:

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Did you know that less than 2% of the native ag+food sector is represented by Indigenous people. Further to this only 0.2% of all Australian businesses are operated by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women.

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“They (Indigenous women) can see their communities are struggling and they look for ways to elevate the status of our community. Bush food and bush medicine/ bush remedies has been a way for the elder women to get involved and teach the younger ones and creates a sense of pride, it links people back to their cultural roots and it provides them with a relevant area of involvement and engagement."
Pat Torres, Mayi Harvest 

Program Aim

Empower Indigenous girls and women with the confidence, knowledge, and entrepreneurial skills they need to successfully launch new ventures and/or participate in tech-based careers across the native ag+food value chain. 

Program Structure

The program is structured to target indigenous women in three ways to maximise the reach and value of the program

Schools Awareness & Inspiration Program

Targeting indigenous girls in Years 9-11 

Native Ag+Food Entrepreneur Stimulus Program

Targeting young Indigenous women at university and in the TAFE system

Native Ag+Food Accelerator & Incubator Programs

Targeting Indigenous women interested in or already involved in the sector

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Program Phases

The 12-month pilot program includes the following phases

Phase 1

STEM

Program Engagement

& Delivery Plan

Program Engagement & Delivery Plan- Series of consultative interviews to identify key barriers to inclusion for Indigenous women in relation to entrepreneurial and STEM careers in the native ag+food sector. Project Steering Group (at least 50%. Indigenous participants) ; Project communications plan; and mentor network will be finalised. 

Phase 2

STEM

Native Ag+Food 

Awareness & Inspire

Native Ag+Food Awareness & Inspiration Program (regional high school-based): Confirm 5 high schools (includes Girls Academies) for participation. Community consultation and Think Tank to confirm the program direction, connections with local Elders and community leaders,  and recruitment of students. Includes cultural components, food and nutrition awareness, integration into school curriculum by educators and post-school pathways. 

Phase 3

STEM

Native Ag+Food 

Entrepreneur Stimulus  

Native Ag+Food Entrepreneur Stimulus Program (University & TAFE): Intial awareness benchmarking across participating universities & TAFE colleges. Recruitment of up to 25 participants for initial trial project.

Phase 4

STEM

Native Ag+Food 

Innovator Internships

Native Ag + Food Innovator & Entrepreneur Internships: Work with a wide range of organisations engaged in the native ag+food ecosystem to identify suitable internship opportunities. This could include: Industry bodies, Technology and research groups, Industry participants, Food and agribusiness corporates, Retail and food service end-customers.

Phase 5

STEM

Native Ag+Food 

Accelerator & Inncubator

Native Ag+Food Accelerator & Incubator Programs- Intensive recruitment for female founders of native ag+food ventures (ideas stage; early startup; SME). Target will be at least 3 participants for inclusion in 2021 Ideas2Business program and at least 2 participants for inclusion in Scale-Up Catalyst Incubator.

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Program Impact

The key objective of the Entrepreneurship Pathways Project is to expand opportunities for Indigenous girls and women across Australia (and particularly in regional and remote areas) to successfully develop the entrepreneurship and STEM capabilities they will need to participate in the native ag+food sector and to successfully build careers and/or bring new native ag+food ventures to market in Australia and internationally.

50 

At least 50 girls in Years 9-11 will have participated in multiple components of the Pathways Program.

25

At least 25 women in tertiary education will have participated in multiple components of the Pathways Program

5

At least 5 native ag+food ventures with female Indigenous founders will have been recruited into Food Futures Company native ag+food accelerator/incubator programs

5

At least 5 Indigenous female entrepreneurs/leaders in the native ag+food sector engaged in awareness raising and mentoring activities related to the program

3

3 new corporate sponsors and 3  new partnerships (schools, universities, TAFE colleges) to create both a runway and support the expansion of the Pathways program