Black Hustle: Indigenous Entrepreneurs
We are dreamers. We want to make our mark on the world while providing opportunities for our people. We want things to change, to enable Indigenous led decisions and self-determination within our community.
As children, we are told to dream, that anything is possible. That our limits aren’t defined by our circumstances or the four walls or town we find ourselves in. That anything is possible, anything is achievable. Yet as we grow older, we become increasingly aware of our surroundings, our position in society, and we are forced to dream within the limits of our society.
For Indigenous People it can mean the limits of the overcrowded housing, the dusty red dirt road leading into the city or unfortunately, the confines of a jail cell for a petty offence. It can mean having to leave cultural ties and commitments behind to be “successful” in the Western world or thoughts limited to the expectations and beliefs of the people who you are surrounded by. As our youth continue to dream, so too are their visions narrowed by the worlds in which they are exposed.
“If one person that looks like you made it, then you can too”- Gary Vaynerchuk
As our growing youth demographic accelerates even faster, so too does the opportunity for our people to embrace entrepreneurship. As the world grows towards a global village, entrepreneurship has become heroised due to the disruptions it’s caused and the lifestyle promoted through social media. It’s become a world of cash and fast cars, holidays and unknown workdays.
As this growing trend and popularisation of entrepreneurship connects with our social feeds, so too does the support mechanisms and opportunities for our communities. So too does the funding and lifestyle cravings.
But these attitudes and lifestyles struggle to relate to the realities seen by the eyes of our people.
To capture Indigenous youth entrepreneurship, we need to do more than provide business and financial support. We need to show that black people can hustle, that the world is not limited to realities, but the possibilities. We need to support the auras of energy and creativity among the Indigenous youth and nourish it into the lives we live and the dreams we dream.
Despite claiming to back and support the underdog, the sentiment is often lost when it comes to Indigenous success. As the growing global trend of entrepreneurship washes upon our shores, so too does the opportunity for us to support young Indigenous entrepreneurs.