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Canberra’s Indigenous business owners supporting one another during COVID

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When Casey Sayers first started out her own business, she wasn’t sure where to start or how to find contacts.

Fast forward a 12 months and she is now making connections and working in an industry she loves with several projects under her belt.

“I started out in construction about 10 years ago but wanted to start my own business. I now have my own fit-out business, a great business partner and we’re steadily getting more work in the Canberra region.

“But it can also be hard to know who to talk to when you’re a small business. Growing the business takes time,” said Casey.

Like a number of other Indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs, Casey took advantage of Yerra’s ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business Support Program during COVID to help access resources and programs and learn from other people’s experiences.

“I met with Yerra and they were able to help me make those connections and assist with more practical things like building a website. I am so grateful to get the opportunity to work for myself and I am very excited to be working with Yerra. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Yerra offers a range of supports for local Indigenous businesses and will be running a Yarning Circle on Monday 29 March to help more Indigenous businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yerra’s managing director Dion Devow said yarning circles were a great way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to connect, build relationships and share stories and knowledge.

“Collaboration and a supportive environment are key,” said Dion.

“I’ve always wanted to help people and COVID has just made it really clear we need to support one another as much as possible.

“I didn’t want other Indigenous people to go through what I’ve been through. It’s tough out there, and we need to share our experiences and support one another.

“The Yarning Circle will be an opportunity for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with like-minded people and get access to valuable resources and support.

“It will also provide opportunities for Indigenous business owners to connect with other businesses, the ACT Government procurement team and other corporate representatives,” said Dion.

The Canberra Indigenous Business Yarning Circle will be held on Monday 29 March from 8:30am to 1pm at 1 Moore Street, Canberra.

You can register for the Yarning Circle here.

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