Papers & Workshops



Challenges for Indigenous Small Business: Business Education and the Influence of Kinship Relationships on The Establishment of Indigenous Business Enterprises


Gido Mapunda

University of South Australia

My research attempts to explore the role of (business) education and the influence of kinship and quasi-kinship relationships on the establishment of indigenous business enterprises. It attempts to examine how indigenous business enterprises can facilitate indigenous entry into the Australian market economy without losing their indigenous identity and heritage. One of the key questions looked at in this study is whether it is possible for indigenous people to play an active role in a market economy without compromising their cultural heritage. In exploring the role of (business) education and training on indigenous enterprises the study attempts to look at the need to decolonise or debunk education and knowledge. Generally the study is based on the premise that the traditional pre-capitalist indigenous hunter-gatherer society can no longer be sustained in its pure form. Instead, it has to modify itself, in some cases be replaced by a "mixed economy" which has a predominantly market orientation. There are also those who hold the view that indigenous business ventures are doomed to fail due to what they consider as a lack of business acumen and tradition in indigenous peoples. This situation, together with other factors such as lack of (business) education and training, lack of capital, etc, make it difficult for aspiring indigenous business entrepreneurs to make their mark in the world of business. This is a qualitative research project whose main method of data collection is in-depth interviews. The qualitative inquiry approach is based on the premise that the project is about real people with real challenges and is not about statistics (which would need quantifying).
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000

Equipment: Overhead Projector