Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has launched a $50 million boost for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples-owned businesses that has been funded by a partnership between Fortescue Metals Group and ANZ Banking.
Businesses that have contracts with Fortescue will be able to take advantage of the $50 million funding initiative in order to help the growth of their businesses by taking advantage of competitive asset leasing.
“The Indigenous business sector is growing rapidly, with more and more commercial opportunities opening up so it just makes sense for big business to find solutions to the financial barriers many Indigenous businesses experience as they seize these opportunities,” said Scullion.
Fortescue chief executive officer Nev Power also expressed hope that the initiative would help provide a leg-up for Aboriginal businesses.
“This is another practical measure by Fortescue to support Aboriginal communities on their journey to economic sustainability and reduced welfare dependence, by providing support for business development to build long-term capability and capacity leading to jobs,” he explained.
It is hoped that the initiative will help to expand on opportunities for Indigenous ore industry workers.
The initiative is an expansion of the Billion Opportunities program, which has seen Fortescue award $2 billion in contracts and sub-contracts to more than 100 joint ventures and Indigenous-owned businesses since its implementation in 2011.