Forty Indigenous businesses gathered in Sydney’s west this week as part of Indigenous business month to showcase their wares to potential buyers.
Held at Panthers Penrith Rugby Leagues Club on Tuesday, the speed-dating like event matched smaller Indigenous owned businesses with big businesses like Sydney Zoo, Transport NSW, and Lendlease.
The small businesses were 15 minutes to pitch themselves in the hope of securing enough interest to earn a contract for their services, however, there was no guarantee of walking away with a deal.
Co-owner of the tech-company Goanna, Corey Brown and told NITV News he had ambitions to impress all the players from the big end of town.
“I really want to genuinely impress all of them to show this is what we are here for,” he said.
“We are a genuine Indigenous business in the IT sector; [but] we are quite relatively new, so it is quite hard being this new as a company.”
Mr Brown, a Gomileroi man, said he had been to similar events in the past and even though no deals were cemented on the day, calls did start to come through months later.
"This is huge for Goanna," he said. "It's around networking and exposing who Goanna is."
Troy Rugless, the chief executive officer of PSG Holdings, said he was impressed by the small businesses that showed off their potential to him.
“Take away the Indigenous components of these businesses, [and] these businesses compete with others just through what they’re doing,” he said. “[It’s] so great to be an Indigenous business, but that capacity and capability is there.”
The inaugural event – hosted by Yarpa NSW Indigenous Business and Employment Hub and Western Sydney Business Connection – was described by the head of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, James Christian, to be of great significance to the growth of small Indigenous businesses.
"Today's a really important opportunity for them (small businesses) to really sell their skills and capabilities to these buyers," he said.