Brotherhood of St Laurence
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March 1999 Includes bibliography

Running a business, or otherwise being self-employed, is one avenue for economic advancement for Indigenous people. However, employing oneself or others is a complex process with many potential pitfalls. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, where globalisation and instantaneous information processing have increased the mobility of consumers and producers alike, Indigenous businesses have to be increasingly sophisticated to compete. Not only do they need to manage financial risk, but also fluctuating markets require a truly worldly outlook with adequate access to collateral and social networks. In this context it is not surprising that the Indigenous population continues to have a very low rate of business formation. This paper provides a profile of the Indigenous self-employed in Australia using data from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey and recent censuses. It uses this profile to discuss issues raised in the international literature on race, ethnicity and self-employment.

Indigenous self-employment1999.pdf


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