DKAccelerator wraps up pilot delivery to first cohort of entrepreneurs
Dec 15, 2021
DKA’s enterprise development program, DKAccelerator, has completed delivery of its six-month intensive business coaching schedule to four selected Indigenous businesses:
- Spinifex Skateboards; a skate brand and youth program on Eastern Arrernte Country
- Kere to Country; a disruptive social enterprise addressing food security
- Stick Mob Studio; a graphic novel group creating stories inspired by lived experiences
- Standley Chasm; a leading Arrernte culture tourism enterprise
Between May and November 2021, DKAccelerator supported the local enterprises in refining business strategies, building digital capability and making better use of available technologies, developing marketing strategies, and streamlining operations. The delivery schedule was unique to each of the participating businesses and responded to their individual needs.
“It’s been a great privilege to work so intimately with this group of leaders, and I have learned a lot from them. I’m excited to follow their development and inevitable success in years to come.”
- Jamie Toyne (Program Director/Business Coach, DKAccelerator)
The selected entrepreneurs each had access to a workspace at DKA’s Business & Innovation Centre, as well as a ‘growth fund’ to invest into building digital technology capabilities within their business. They attended weekly coaching sessions and regular peer-to-peer leadership activities on-country, at their place of work, or at the Desert Knowledge Precinct, ensuring cultural safety and a productive workspace with access to digital technology facilities.
DKAccelerator is developed and led by Program Director/Business Coach Jamie Toyne, and supported by Digital Growth Partner Jane Arandelovic. The two experienced entrepreneurs were inserted into the work teams of each business where they worked alongside each other as a team. In addition, every entrepreneur had a designated day during each week of the program to work alongside Jamie and Jane, where they worked towards their goals as a team and had 1‑on‑1 coaching sessions.
DKAccelerator works alongside Kere to Country at a coaching session at DKA’s Business & Innovation Centre.
“I think when you’re working with First Nations people and First Nations businesses, relationships are really important. And it’s been great to work with two people that we could trust.”
- Jessica Wishart (CEO, Kere to Country)
The businesses continue to have access to coaching from Jamie, and use of DKA’s Business & Innovation Centre until March 2022.
The DKAccelerator pilot program sits within a larger enterprise development research project which commenced in November 2020, funded by the NT Government’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade. It was established to research, design and pilot a program to support the development of First Nations enterprises across Central Australia, and investigate how government funding and services can better support Indigenous entrepreneurs in the region.
The program’s evaluation is currently underway, with response from participating organisations, the NT Government, and partner organisations being overwhelmingly positive.
DKAccelerator’s participating businesses were part of a panel discussion led by Jamie Toyne at the 10th Aboriginal Economic Development Forum. They shared their experiences as new entrepreneurs with an audience primarily consisting of government and industry stakeholders.