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WA government launches Indigenous Angel investor and entrepreneur program

The Innovation and ICT Minister announced the launch of the Perth Angels Growth and Diversity Program and announced a new partnership with industry and not-for-profits to deliver the Indigenous Angel Investor and Entrepreneur Program in Western Australia.

The partnership was agreed upon between the government, a network of private investors who actively invest in early-stage companies in Perth, Western Australia (WA) and an initiative committed to creating parity for Indigenous Australians. The Indigenous Angel program will support the next generation of indigenous entrepreneurs to grow more Indigenous businesses and help diversify the Western Australian economy.

A dedicated program for Indigenous entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners, it will provide a world-class education to empower Indigenous professionals to become more involved in early-stage business, innovation and technology.

The Indigenous Angel Investor and Entrepreneur Program also aims to remove barriers and open up investment opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs and investors. The partnership is being supported by the State Government through a $10,000 sponsorship from the $16.7 million New Industries Fund.

The launch of the program, funded through the New Industries Fund’s X-TEND WA Program, was postponed due to COVID-19. Through a series of masterclasses and boardroom education events, it will now support the growth of the angel investor and private sector investor community in WA with a key focus on increasing the number of female investors.

The firm is one of 11 Western Australian organisations to receive backing through the X-TEND WA Program. In addition to the Growth and Diversity Program, the group has also received funding to provide business advice and mentoring to start-ups and SMEs, as part of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery program.

This Indigenous Angel Investor and Entrepreneur Program is being piloted with the view of rolling it out nationally in 2021. Applications for the program open on 15 October and close on 29 October 2020.

The Innovation and ICT Minister stated that creating more jobs for Western Australians and diversifying WA’s economy is the foundation of the government’s New Industries Fund. The announcement of the Indigenous Angel Investor and Entrepreneur Program aims to improve knowledge, networks and opportunities for Indigenous Australians to enter the world of Angel Investing.

Empowering local entrepreneurs through tech

The New Industries Fund was announced in November 2017 as a $16.7 million fund over four years that will support and accelerate new and emerging businesses to diversify the Western Australian economy and create new WA jobs and industries.

The fund will support and grow local jobs by building on Western Australia’s competitive advantages in sectors like agribusiness, life sciences, tourism, resources, education and training, space, defence, digital data and cybersecurity, both in Perth and in the regions.

It will support a self-sustaining innovation environment that maximises State and Commonwealth agency collaboration and private sector investment. The State Government consulted extensively with a broad range of stakeholders from across the innovation community over 18 months. Further consultation is built into the fund as programs are reviewed and new ideas considered.

Regional Innovation

$4.5 million from the NIF was allocated to regional areas, with the Departments of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation; and Primary Industries and Regional Development working together to identify strategically important industries and areas for investment.

Innovation Hubs

Innovation hubs bring a critical mass of people together, with access to expertise and facilities, making better use of talent and technology, and creating WA jobs. While innovation will take place across Western Australia, a designated hub provides focus and acts as a beacon to attract start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

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