Commonwealth agency Indigenous Business Australia is launching a $50 million initiative to encourage impact investment in ventures that support Indigenous economic development.
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said the market for impact investment had taken off recently as more corporates looked to make investments that yielded social as well as financial dividends.
Impact investments are investments aimed at generating social and environmental impact as well as a financial return.
“It is fantastic to see IBA partnering with the private sector to drive new economic and employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Mr Scullion said.
“IBA is now inviting expressions of interest from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and entities seeking to pursue commercial investment opportunities.
“If you have an innovative new proposal, you should consider this opportunity; if you are looking to invest in a project that will be profitable and support your community, you should consider this opportunity; and if you’ve been looking to leverage your investment to take your funds further, you should consider this great opportunity.”
IBA CEO Rajiv Viswanathan said as the market for and interest in impact investment grows, IBA will be a catalyst for greater investment into commercial opportunities that provide financial returns and more for Indigenous investors and community.
“Through new investments, our objective is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to own and grow successful commercial ventures that generate local Indigenous employment, training, procurement and other outcomes, enhancing self- management and self-sufficiency,” he said.
IBA’s stated vision is “for a nation in which the First Australians are economically independent and an integral part of the economy”.
Its website says: “We want Indigenous Australians to have the same financial opportunities as other Australians.
“Through IBA’s programs, we attempt to remove some of the obstacles that may prevent our customers from creating wealth, accumulating assets and fulfilling their aspirations.”
Expressions of interest are open until February 28, with interested parties invited to visit www.iba.gov.au/investmentpartnerships to find out more and submit a proposal.