Expectations, economics, and externalities of the Indigenous business sector

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Eva, Christian
Harris, Jessica
Bodle, Kerry
Foley, Dennis
Nichols, Nina
Hunter, Boyd
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2023
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Abstract

The Indigenous business sector in Australia is a facilitator of Indigenous economic self-determination, community development, the utilisation of Indigenous knowledge, and the creation of enhanced employment opportunities for Indigenous people. Social impact initiatives and social entrepreneurship are a hallmark of many Indigenous businesses. Supply Nation (2018) found that for every dollar of revenue, Supply Nation Certified Businesses created an average of $4.41 in social value. However, who bears the cost of creating this value is less clear. Through interviews with Indigenous business owners, managers, and employees, this paper discusses participant perspectives on the undervaluation of the economic and social value of the Indigenous business sector. With an increased demand for engagement with the Indigenous business sector through private and public policy platforms (such as Indigenous procurement policies), the Indigenous business sector's products and services are under increasing demand. Whilst Indigenous businesses may provide a strong return in the social impact they create, this paper argues that the Indigenous business sector bears the costs associated with creating this value unjustly.

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Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues
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26
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3-Apr
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Economics
History, heritage and archaeology
Human society
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Harris, J; Eva, C; Bodle, K; Foley, D; Nichlos, N; Hunter, B, Expectations, economics, and externalities of the Indigenous business sector, Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 2023, 26 (3-4), pp. 79-104
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