Indigenous business women meet in Adelaide

| April 30, 2018

More than 180 Indigenous female business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs will attend the largest gathering of Indigenous women in business in Glenelg at the start of May.

Organised by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), this unique Conference will feature only female speakers, MCs and presenters.

Women representing established businesses and start ups, as well as women with business ideas looking to get off the ground, across many different types of businesses, and from every state and territory, will be in attendance.

The women in attendance come from diverse sectors – mining, construction, recruitment, IT, bush medicine, professional services, security, manufacturing, media and communications, fashion, creative industries, tourism, hospitality and more.

IBA Board member Kerrynne Liddle said this is a unique event, which will enable Indigenous business women who are passionate about being in business but who can feel isolated, to connect and develop relationships and draw inspirations from peers.

“To date, Indigenous business women make up 34% of IBA’s customer base in the Business Solutions program.

“The rapid entry of women into the workforce has added more to GDP than the technology sector, with fortune 500 companies known to perform better when women are represented on boards and in senior management.

“The themes for the gathering are based on priorities identified by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women which included having opportunities to connect, network and to learn from other Indigenous business women about overcoming barriers, working through challenges, building confidence, securing business goals and excellence,” Ms Liddle said.

In 2009 Dionne Connolly established an engineering business servicing the Cloncurry area of Western Queensland. This small single operator mobile welding business quickly grew to a boilermaking team of 17 with associated labourers, apprentices and trades assistants that serviced large Mine Operations around Cloncurry and the North West region of Queensland.

In 2016 it became the demand for local people with relevant skills would be required. As a result the Cloncurry Contracting Labour Hire arm evolved into Western Labour Hire Pty Ltd.

Ms Connolly is one of approximately 20 Indigenous business women speaking at the conference.

“I am really excited to be involved with the Strong Women, Strong Business Conference because I know that commercial enterprise has the potential to change lives and shape communities” Ms Connolly said.

“People, communities and business are things I am really passionate about so as an Indigenous Business Owner I am truly grateful for the opportunity to share my story with other Indigenous Australian Women.  As a Kalkadoon woman I look forward to meeting some strong deadly women, growing my network and forging new friendships that last well beyond the conference.”

IBA organised the Conference after asking Indigenous women in business what was needed.

There was universal agreement on the need for an Indigenous Women in Business conference to build a network of support that can sustain and grow the involvement of women in business.

Strong Women, Strong Business will be held in Glenelg from the 1st to the 3rd of May.