Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One initiative, in partnership with Youth Co:Lab, a joint initiative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, is inviting Australia’s Indigenous entrepreneurs to apply for the 2022 Dream Venture Masterclasses, to access world class entrepreneurial training and mentorship, and be in the running for a share in $150,000 of seed funding.
Generation One’s Dream Venture Masterclasses, which have already supported more than 120 Indigenous business owners, will this year deliver two tailored programs:
In an Australian first, the Youth Program will be partnering with Youth Co:Lab, co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation the largest youth social entrepreneurship program in the Asia-Pacific. Through this partnership, Dream Venture entrepreneurs will get the chance to connect with the best and brightest from the Asia Pacific, tap into global networks and secure mentorship from some of the region’s most successful founders.
All participants in the Youth Program will make a pitch to share in $75,000 worth of seed funding from Minderoo Foundation.
The All-Ages Dream Venture Masterclass will be tailored to support 20 Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs of any age to prepare their enterprise for growth, and to connect with mentors, investors, and peers to help bring their entrepreneurial dreams to life.
All participants in the Open Age program will make a pitch to share in $75,000 in seed funding from Minderoo Foundation.
Applications are now open to join the 2022 Dream Venture Masterclasses. Indigenous entrepreneurs who have already started a business and want to grow or scale their enterprise to the next level are strongly encouraged to apply.
The program runs through July and August and will be delivered in collaboration with Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship, one of Australia’s leading educators of founders and entrepreneurs.
The Indigenous entrepreneurs will receive coaching and mentorship to promote business growth and investment, and access to networks that can make that growth possible.
One previous Dream Venture Masterclass participant is Alisha Geary, who founded blockchain art startup Provvy and received funding from the Startmate ‘Small Bets’ fund after graduating from last year’s programme.
Generation One CEO, Shelley Cable, said Dream Venture will provide Indigenous Australians with the connections, capabilities, and access to capital that they need to become investor ready.
“The youth program is really important because we know that more than 50 per cent of the Indigenous population in Australia is under the age of 24, and there is a huge amount of talent out there,” Shelley Cable said.
“We need to back the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. Research shows that majority-owned Indigenous businesses are up to one hundred times more likely to employ Indigenous workers than other Australian businesses, and their growth can start a chain reaction that accelerates Indigenous employment parity,” Ms Cable said.
Leslie Delaforce, Generation One Indigenous Entrepreneurship Director, said Indigenous business are already growing at a powerhouse rate of 13 per cent a year according to Supply Nation; and entrepreneurs have endless opportunities.
“We believe that Indigenous people should have the same opportunities to achieve economic independence and empowerment through employment and business as every other Australian and Dream Venture Masterclasses will help to address some of the barriers that Indigenous Australians often face in accessing investment,” Mr Delaforce said.
Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.