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Yarpa Hub announces partnership with Western Sydney University

Dechlan Brennan -

First Nations business sector leader Yarpa Hub has announced a partnership with Western Sydney University to deliver Yarpa Grow — its flagship business accelerator program.

Yarpa Hub will offer a range of support services to strengthen the First Nations business sector across NSW, and the agreement was signed last week on the campus of Western Sydney University in Parramatta. 

In attendance were NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) chairperson Ray Kelly, NSWALC chief executive Yuseph Deen and Western Sydney University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Sweeney, and Interim Dean, School of Business, Professor Meg Smith.

Yarpa’s acting director Shannon Mallison said the partnership with the university was “game changing”. 

“Yarpa Grow is a signature 10-week business accelerator program designed to support the sustainable growth and success of First Nations businesses,” Ms Mallison said. 

“Partnering with Western Sydney University to deliver Yarpa Grow as a certified micro-credential will add greater value to the participants and make this the first of its kind in NSW.

“A highlight will be access to a personal business consultant throughout the Yarpa Grow journey as well as the graduation event where participants will get to pitch their business to corporate and industry leaders.”

Cr Kelly said Yarpa - a business unit of NSWALC - was a success story with more than 450 First Nations businesses amongst its membership and argued they had a growing respiration as a “one-stop shop for Indigenous businesses and job seekers to access support and connect to more opportunities. 

He said Yarpa played an “integral role” in “pursuing economic independence” for Indigenous people. 

“Supporting the success and sustainability of First Nations businesses is essential to our future as distinct and self-determining people,” Cr Kelly said.

Professor Smith said the University was “excited” to enter into the partnership with Yarpa Grow. 

“This project will allow Indigenous businesses to innovate and develop sustainable business ideas, while also building on an existing platform of micro-credentials that the University has been engaged with delivering to the community,” Professor Smith said.

Expressions of interest will open in the coming weeks and more information about the program can be found online. 

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