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Census Insights: Accelerating Indigenous entrepreneurship

Accelerating Indigenous entrepreneurship

KPMG's Census Insights explores the shifting trends in Australia's lifestyle habits by analysing the data provided in the 2016 National Census. In our second report, demographer Bernard Salt and KPMG Partner Shelley Reys discuss the opportunities for Australia's growing Indigenous business community.


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In the decade that followed the 2008 apology it is fitting that there should be evidence of an expanding, of a strengthening, Indigenous business community within Australia. The 2016 Census results confirm the rise in the number of Indigenous business owners, both male and female. This trend from 2011 pre-dates a Federal Government initiative from 2015 to support a policy of procurement from Indigenous businesses.

This market has grown from $6 million in its first year to more than $1 billion by the third year of operation. And the policy has won the broader support of corporate Australia as part of their commitment to the process of reconciliation. And into this mix is thrown the recent commitment by the federal and state governments to invest $60 billion in infrastructure in Greater Western Sydney, with part of this funding being earmarked for Indigenous employment and business.

Here is a confluence of events, projects and programs, formulated and ascendant in an important decade in Australia’s history that promises to cultivate and strengthen Indigenous businesses and ultimately, to deliver a stronger Australia.

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