A profile of Indigenous small business owners in Australia

This section defines 'Indigenous small business', estimates their number and shows that they are predominantly based in urban and regional areas.

What is an indigenous small business?

For the purposes of this study, an Indigenous small business is:

  • a non-employing or employing business with less than twenty employees6
  • at least one-half Indigenous7 owned and managed, 8 and
  • not part of an Aboriginal corporation incorporated under the Commonwealth Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 (ACAA) or a state associations Act.

The last item is adopted because such corporations are not stand-alone businesses: they have access to tax concessions and are invariably community-based9. Therefore, this study focuses on stand-alone commercial businesses. (See the appendix for a discussion of the differences between commercial and community enterprises.)

    Last modified: 18 Nov 2009QC 22397