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Indigenous Australians are three times more likely to be unemployed than non-Indigenous Australians and only one in seven Indigenous Australians are in highly skilled occupations. However Indigenous business are 100 times more likely to employ Indigenous people and therefore supporting the growth and prosperity of Indigenous business is a powerful driver to tackle social disadvantage and create transformational systemic change. Access to capital is a particular challenge for Indigenous people, given that many groups are unable to use their land as collateral and Individuals are much less likely to have a house to use as security (only 30% of the Indigenous community are home owners compared to 70% of the general population). There is also perceived risk of lending to Indigenous businesses. In summary there is no flexible capital over $20,000 for Indigenous enterprises to start up and grow if they don’t have assets to use as security.
First Australians Capital (FAC), is an Indigenous-led organisation that will provide capital and capacity building support for Indigenous businesses. First Australians Capital is raising funds to lend to these enterprises as patient repayable capital to bridge the equity requirements other lenders require. FAC’s services to enterprises will comprise capacity building, access to networks and development finance, with dedicated relationship management to build economic self-sufficiency within Indigenous communities and help drive a new economy in Australia. FAC aims to alleviate the poverty and disadvantage in life outcomes experienced by Indigenous Australians by building on the strengths and assets of Australia’s first peoples in the following ways: Strengthening First Australians cultural capital: strengthening individual’s identity and self-esteem; rebuilding social and cultural values. Enhancing First Australians creative capital: stimulate creativity and innovation, building resilient and empowered communities. Harnessing First Australians economic capital: create jobs, accelerate entrepreneurialism, establish enterprises and drive prosperity.