DKA launches new program to support Indigenous enterprises
May 10, 2021
Desert Knowledge Australia has launched DKAccelerator, a new program to support the development and growth of First Nations enterprises in Central Australia. The program – funded by the Northern Territory’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade – will support a cohort of five Indigenous entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of their business through hands-on operational support, responsive mentorship, project-based learning, peer-to-peer leadership, and digital technology innovation.
The program will be delivered over six months between May and November 2021, where entrepreneurs will progress through four stages of development: (i) discovery and planning, (ii) foundation and scalability, (iii) growth and acceleration, and (iv) automation and future planning.
The entrepreneurs will work alongside the Program Director/Business Coach, a Digital Growth Partner, and specialist consultants to achieve sustainable and scalable growth through digital technology innovation.
The five selected Central Australian businesses are:
- Spinifex Skateboards; an Eastern Arrernte skate brand and youth program
- Kere to Country; a disruptive social enterprise addressing food security
- Standley Chasm; a leading Arrernte culture tourism enterprise
- Framed in Alice; custom picture framers of local art and memorabilia
- Stick Mob Studio; a graphic novel group creating stories inspired by lived experiences
Each business has access to a workspace at DKA’s Business & Innovation Centre as well as growth funding to invest into building digital technology capabilities within their business. The entrepreneurs can attend weekly coaching sessions and regular peer-to-peer leadership activities on-country, at their place of work, or at DKA, ensuring cultural safety and a productive workspace with access to digital technology facilities.
The design and development of DKAccelerator is supported by research and analysis of Aboriginal businesses and business support services in Central Australia. The combination of the growth fund, intensive coaching and mentorship, operational support from digital technology experts, as well as collective peer-to-peer leadership activities is designed to build self-confidence, momentum and ultimately accelerate the growth and development of these five businesses.
“There are plenty of grants, business plans and consultants that people can access here, but not enough intensive, on-the-ground, operational support. Our job is to roll up our sleeves, work together and learn from each other.”
- Jamie Toyne (Program Director/Business Coach, DKAccelerator)
“We are super excited to be a part of this program. This is an opportunity to enhance our knowledge around digital marketing but also around software development – purposely fit for our unique business model, and something totally outside our expertise.”
- Jessica Wishart (Co-Founder, Kere to Country)
The program commenced on 4 May with 1‑on‑1 coaching sessions, where the entrepreneurs began strategic planning and goal setting for the program and beyond.
The DKAccelerator team
Jamie Toyne, Program Director/Business Coach: Jamie grew up in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). He is the founder of an international digital consulting group and has been coaching and advising small businesses for over a decade.
Jane Arandelovic, Digital Growth Partner: Jane is a start-up founder, with over 15 years of digital marketing experience, working with small businesses through to leading technology companies, media and advertising agencies.