First Australians Capital awarded $500,000 grant to support Indigenous enterprise

From

Leah Armstrong

Equity Trustees has awarded a five-year grant of $500,000 to First Australians Capital (FAC)[1], an Indigenous-led organisation that helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.

FAC provides essential support to nurture a vibrant and sustainable Indigenous business sector. Some of the services it offers include business planning, financial modelling, engaging pro bono legal advice and access to capital. Over 400 businesses have benefited from the work of FAC since 2016.

The grant was enabled by six individual trusts within the Equity Trustees Sector Capacity Building Program, which makes grants supporting organisations that are solving complex societal issues. In the 2020/21 financial year the Fund, which is valued at $66 million, distributed $1.9 million via 18 grants.

Ferdi Hepworth, Sector Capacity Building Program manager, Equity Trustees, said the grant aligned with Equity Trustees’ strategic goals of unlocking sector potential and funding for impact.

“Having worked to support Indigenous organisations and Indigenous self-determination for the past decade I know first-hand that the best solutions come by backing First Nations experts to deliver their own solutions. That’s why it’s so exciting to be able to support the team at FAC to strengthen the Indigenous ecosystem in Australia,” she said.

The most recent grant to FAC follows a three-year $300,000 grant made by Equity Trustees and its partners, taking the total commitment to eight years.

Leah Armstrong, Managing Director, FAC said: “We are pleased to be continuing our partnership with Equity Trustees to overcome barriers that Indigenous entrepreneurs face in building their businesses.

“The partnership will support more Indigenous businesses to become investment-ready, turn into viable and sustainable enterprises and deliver better outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.”

As Australia celebrates NAIDOC Week, Mick O’Brien, Managing Director, Equity Trustees said the grant formed part of an ongoing commitment by Equity Trustees to supporting Indigenous causes.

“NAIDOC Week plays an important role in celebrating the history, culture and achievements of First Australians and because of that, we’re proud to sponsor a number of NAIDOC events and awards. As a RAP organisation[2], we are also committed to working in close partnership with communities and organisations to understand what is important to their needs and where our granting programs can have the most social and economic impact,” he said.

The 2020 Snapshot[3] shows examples of ways Equity Trustees seeks to support and empower First Nations peoples, and the 2020 Philanthropy Annual Giving Review[4], details the impact of grants and funding in the FY20 year.

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[1] First Australians Capital 
[2] RAP organisation
[3] 2020 Snapshot
[4] 2020 Philanthropy Annual Giving Review 

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