Indigenous Women Entrepreneur & STEM Pathways Program
The program was commenced in 2021 with grant funding from the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Women in STEM & Entrepreneurship Round 3 Program. The grant recipient was Food Futures Company who established a pilot program in 2021-22.
In 2022, the founder of Food Futures Company, Dr Christine Pitt, established the not-for-profit social enterprise, EM-power Foundation and the program has now been transitioned across to the new organisation for ongoing implementation. A key rationale was to create an Indigenous-led organisation to oversee this important body of work.
significantly increase the participation of First Nations people in the native ag+food sector
First Nations people with the confidence and entrepreneurial skills to launch new ventures and participate in STEM careers
barriers to participation will be reduced and First Nations people will be empowered to lead in the growth of the native ag+food sector
create new jobs, enable economic self-determination and have a positive impact on the lives of First Nations people and their communities.
The pathways framework is intended to illuminate the journey for Indigenous girls and women from their earliest interest in the cultural connections that working in the native ag+food sector can provide, through to realising their aspirations to build a career or create a successful and impactful business in one of the fastest growing agrifood sectors globally. In addition to entrepreneurial careers, the sector also offers exciting opportunities in STEM including the development of new technology and the application of various scientific disciplines such as nutrition and food science.
Awareness and Inspiration
INDIGENOUS GIRLS IN SCHOOL
The Awareness & Inspiration stream is targeted at Indigenous girls from year 9 in high school right through until they transition to the workforce or further study. Participants are exposed to Traditional Knowledge under the guidance of Elders, practical experiences in native plant gardens, cooking with native ingredients, field visits, and meetings with Indigenous entrepreneurs. The aim is to make them aware of the career opportunities in the sector and to inspire them to want to learn more.
CENTRAL COAST SCHOOLS PROJECT
DUBBO HOSPITALITY WORK PLACEMENT PROJECT
“Narromine (NSW) Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group has been involved in the current Indigenous Women in Native Agrifood Project. We believe this is an important initiative because our young girls have limited opportunity for career pathways.”
Crystal Donnelly, Narromine Local AECG President
The Career Stimulus stream is targeted at Indigenous women in the community who have not yet settled on their career and women at TAFE or university from across a wide range of technical, agricultural, and business disciplines.
Participants are provided with multiple opportunities to learn more about the variety of career opportunities either as future entrepreneurs or in STEM based careers including in the food industry and the application of new technology to the native agrifood sector.
Initiatives include training & skills development, work placements, university technology challenges, and connections with Indigenous role models.
INDIGENOUS WOMEN IN COMMUNITY, TAFE OR UNIVERSITY
“There are so many great careers available for Indigenous women in the sector which will enable them to achieve real economic independence. I fully support the work you are doing to encourage Indigenous girls and women to build their confidence to develop new careers in the native agrifood sector.”.
Sharon Winsor, Indigenous Founder Indigiearth NSW
The Entrepreneurial Success stream is focused on building the skills required by aspiring entrepreneurs or existing founders to build their ideas into viable businesses and to grow and scale their existing ventures into new markets and new channels.
Participants with existing businesses are invited to participate in accelerator programs where they receive coaching and mentoring to develop go-to-market strategies, scale their value chain, secure investment and develop broad networks. Aspiring entrepreneurs are engaged in bespoke programs that build a growth mindset and introduce them to the fundamentals of starting a new business.
INDIGENOUS WOMEN INTERESTED IN OR ALREADY INVOLVED IN THE SECTOR
COSMETIC ENTREPRENEUR INCUBATOR
NATIVE OZ BUSHFOODS
2021 - 2022
CHOCOLATE ON PURPOSE
2021 - 2022
2021 - 2022
2021 - 2022
“The team supported us in clarifying our business and mission to create an enterprise where our business and social goals worked together. I am passionate about building an Indigenous led and owned supply chain and increasing the participation of First Nations people in this growing industry. Supporting more Indigenous entrepreneurs will be a real game-changer."
Fiona Harrison, Indigenous Founder Chocolate On Purpose NSW
First Nations students in school-based initiatives
Regional native ag+food hubs across Australia
First Nations individuals in post-school programs
First nations entrepreneurs and business founders supported