Merle Dann in the PM&C office Carnarvon for an IEF application, with Angel Hayward and Paul Shinn.
A drop of water might not seem significant at first; however when it is joined by a second, and a third, that raindrop has the capability, with the capacity of the others, to become substantial and bring life to those it touches. In saying that caution must be used as it can have the opposite effect if not managed.
This is the principle that drives IPS Consultant and Senior Business Advisor Paul Shinn, and IPS Graduate Consultant Angel Hayward in their work under the Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund – Grant Application Process: from little things, big things grow.
“The IEF is about fostering, building and identifying capability in Indigenous people and creating capacity within their businesses. It’s a way to create economic development, driven by the very people who have the passion and drive to see their people succeed their way. It’s building the individual’s capability to develop capacity, to bring sustainability into their business,” Angel said.
IEF clients work with Paul and Angel, who firstly support them on their journey through the Application Process. If their application is successful, they become ongoing business mentors and collaborators.
“The Application Process is driven by the passion and the drive that the client has,” Paul said. “They have to work hard at it. The Client is closing the gap for themselves, their mob, the Indigenous community and Australia.”
The IEF Grant Application Process helps Clients to become business astute, and to weave their way through what would ordinarily be road blocks and frustration.
“We have found 100% success in those people seeking assistance under the IEF Grant Application Process and they are in fact entrepreneurial. The Indigenous community has been commercially astute for 60,000 plus years. The IEF Grant Application Process is helping them to articulate that in their language, using what they already know and applying it to the application,” Paul said.
Angel said every business started with a kernel of an idea with a string attached. “We, with the Client, pull it, tug it, add to it, and the kernel becomes fully fleshed out - by the end of the application it’s not that one small idea, it’s a diverse combination of business ideas that make that business sustainable.”
“We work with the Client in understanding that not all their money in life will or should come in one particular pot - that is, we create diversity from the outset,” Paul said. “There will be multiple businesses, multiple streams of businesses. It propagates, assists and drives the Indigenous entrepreneurial spirit: other people will want what they have, and want to be part of this network being created. They want to be the captain and they want to steer their own destiny.”
Paul said that Indigenous people are naturally egalitarian, and the IEF Grant Application Process works with that strength in networking Indigenous businesses to support each other.
“When a business is run by a board, getting ten people to agree to an operational requirement will take ten hours - whereas if an individual is delegated as an Operational Manager, they will make the decisions and keep the company going and be sustainable. We then network them with accountants, lawyers, and other applicants, developing partners, collaborators, mentors and support.”
“The way I see it, it’s like you get a small couple of raindrops and they start rippling, and by the end it’s like a storm,” Angel said. “Everything is working together, creating the entire support network.”
One of the many things encouraged along the way is the power of language. “We turn maybes to positives, I can, I will; it’s about developing self-worth, self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-determination. It’s making use of the psychological approach you need to have when you walk in regardless of what you’re walking into,” Paul said.
“In a family unit, the parent has to take care of themselves first to make sure his family is healthy; so it is with a business. The business has to take care of itself first, to be sustainable, before it can go out and help society.”
You can find more information about the IEF at these links: