RMIT University has celebrated Reconciliation Week by offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs the chance to start their own business with a new scholarship.
The Indigenous Business Creation Scholarships will provide students with free training in the nationally-accredited Certificate IV in Small Business Management. The Scholarship is for Indigenous entrepreneurs who are ready to start their own business and offers the chance to gain training, mentoring, business advice and support, and a living allowance while participating in the program.
They will learn about financials/record-keeping, marketing, business operations, legal and regulatory requirements for businesses, and business planning. While completing the six-month program participants will also be encouraged to apply for seed funding from the University’s New Enterprise Investment Fund or other funding, to help them find the capital to start up their business.
Graham Airey, Head of RMIT’s School of Vocational Business Education, said the scholarships were part of the University’s rich transformative experience for students.
“The University recently launched its Reconciliation Action Plan committing to improving the levels of access, participation and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and these Scholarships are part of this ongoing commitment,” he said.
Stacey Campton, Senior Manager of RMIT’s Ngarara Willim Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, said RMIT had a long history of engaging with Indigenous Australian perspectives.
“RMIT University set up The Koorie Education Unit in 1992, the Indigenous Access Scheme in 2006, and developed the Indigenous Specialisation for all undergraduate students in 2009,” she said.
“The Indigenous Business Creation Scholarship has been created in close cooperation with the Ngarara Willim Centre, so that the students can receive customised support.
“The University values Indigenous Australian perspectives, and aims to position itself as both an employer of choice and preferred place to study for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.”
RMIT also marked National Reconciliation Week 2016 with a number of new initiatives and celebrations, including launching its first Reconciliation Action Plan, opening the Ngarara Place Indigenous garden on the University’s City campus and officially opening Walert House student accommodation at RMIT Bundoora West campus.