The Queensland government is encouraging Indigenous sole traders, businesses and organisations to sign up to a statewide seminar series about becoming a provider for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The ‘Dream it up, Grow it up’ series will educate businesses about the needs and goals of local NDIS clients; opportunities, market growth and how to become a scheme provider; processes and supports for starting a business; as well as screening and safeguarding requirements.
Queensland’s Minister for Seniors and Disability Services, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Craig Crawford said there were more opportunities for local businesses to enter the NDIS market as the number of participants grew.
“An extra 40,000 Queenslanders are expected to enter the NDIS by 2025,” Crawford said in a statement.
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“This will provide even more opportunities for First Nations owned businesses to grow through delivering disability supports to NDIS participants.”
Annually, more than 102,000 people in Queensland receive NDIS support worth in excess of $7 billion. Of these local clients, nearly 10,000 participants identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
The Minister said the ‘Dream it up, Grow it up’ business development comprised 40 in-person and online seminars and would be delivered until the end of June.
“Follow-up support and mentoring will be offered to businesses as part of the seminar package,” Crawford added.
Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) CEO Belinda Drew said First Nations’ expertise would enhance the NDIS offering.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to help businesses be part of the delivery of NDIS supports among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Drew said.
CSIA will deliver the seminar series in partnership with a range of businesses, including PWC Indigenous Consulting, Ambrose Solutions, Iscariot Media, Stapleton Indigenous Solutions and Outpost Consulting.
Leesa Watego, managing director of Iscariot Media, added it would take time for individuals to build a sustainable business.
“Business training is such a big part of that journey,” Watego said.
“We’re looking forward to working with First Nations peoples from across Queensland.”
This article was first published by The Mandarin.