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With their core message of “the more members we have, the stronger we are,” the NTIBN is a prominent voice championing the Indigenous business sector in the Territory.

Guided by their core beliefs, NTIBN stands at the forefront of shaping policies such as the Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) and the NT Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP). They tackle critical issues, including the menacing practice of Blak Cladding, and work towards creating solutions that drive meaningful change and improve the business landscape for Aboriginal businesses. 

One of the major issues faced by the Indigenous business sector is the practice of Blak Cladding, which involves non-Indigenous businesses misrepresenting themselves as Indigenous-controlled. NTIBN vehemently condemns such acts, recognising the importance of upholding the authenticity and integrity of the Blak Business sector. Through strategic advocacy, NTIBN is determined to combat this challenge and build an industry of legitimacy. 

A key focal point of NTIBN’s advocacy lies in ensuring access to investment and capital, addressing the stark reality that Indigenous businesses are often locked out of the mainstream banking sector. NTIBN consistently raises awareness about this issue, seeking fairness and equal opportunities for Aboriginal businesses to thrive and compete. Their passionate efforts led to the achievement of Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, enabling them to attract philanthropic support and create a powerful avenue for sustained growth. 

A distinctive aspect of NTIBN’s advocacy involves their preference for supporting private-owned Aboriginal business entities over Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) or statutory authorities that rely on government funding. Understanding that procurement policies were established to benefit private-owned entities, NTIBN aims to level the playing field and champion the entrepreneurial spirit that drives Aboriginal private businesses forward. 

Confronted with challenges brought about by the IPP and APP, NTIBN’s advocacy efforts extend beyond supporting individual businesses. They also focus on urging changes in how services are funded, highlighting the issue of Indigenous businesses not receiving population parity funding and addressing the unintended consequences of these policies. 

NTIBN strives to create equitable opportunities for both urban-based and remote businesses, ensuring access to resources and support reach regardless of their geographical location. Over the next 24 months, NTIBN is geared to activate hubs in Nhulunbuy and Jabiru, extending their support and reach to these vital regions. This will create additional opportunities for Aboriginal businesses, promoting economic development and fostering collaboration. 

Chair Naomi Anstess says: “Meaningful Aboriginal employment is great, but participation is key. NTIBN’s focus is on promoting Aboriginal business ownership, as this is where it holds the power to shape communities and drive long-lasting change. 

“NTIBN’s advocacy efforts reflect this belief by pushing for investment and initiatives that empower Aboriginal Territorians to create businesses that contribute to the economic and social fabric of their communities.”