Singapore Landing Pad empowers First Nations exporters

Austrade recently hosted its first Landing Pad in Singapore for First Nations businesses.

The 3-day program for specially selected participants ran from 21 June. Austrade partnered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australia’s First Nations Taskforce to deliver the program.

Nine businesses took part, showcasing the diversity of First Nations entrepreneurship and talent:

  • Liandra Swim (fashion)
  • Ihraa Swim (fashion)
  • Rainstick Technology (agritech e.g. enhancing mushroom cultivation using electricity)
  • Jarrah Boy (craft beer)
  • Figjam & Co (food)
  • Kakadu Organics (food products and beauty/cosmetics)
  • Yaye (beauty/cosmetics)
  • Kitikiti (beauty/cosmetics)
  • Shop Balu (beauty/cosmetics).

Amelia Walsh, Austrade’s Trade and Investment Commissioner, Singapore, says: ‘It’s been so rewarding to see these businesses passionately tell their brand stories and not only investigate the market but to see leads for commercial deals coming out of the program.’

A tailored program delivering promising results

Austrade organised a range of activities designed around the essential tools and insights needed for exporting success. These included workshops on branding and market entry, and masterclasses addressing branding and sector-specific challenges tailored to the unique needs of each business.

The program also included curated site visits to renowned Singaporean retailers such as NTUC Fairprice, Cold Storage, Design Orchard and Little Farms.

A highlight was the showcase event held at Australian restaurant Kaarla. Potential partners, distributors and influencers gathered to meet the First Nations entrepreneurs and try their product samples. This generated substantial interest and potential business collaborations.

‘This program is a wonderful opportunity, and I would highly recommend it to other Indigenous businesses,’ says Melissa Cole, Founder of Yaye.

‘It has shown us that export is achievable and within reach, even for small businesses,’ adds Dale Vocale, Jarrah Boy’s Founder.

Austrade’s commitment to First Nations work

Making a difference for First Nations Australians and First Nations-owned businesses is a priority area for Austrade, in line with the Australian Government’s strategic priorities.

‘When we support First Nations businesses, we not only create economic opportunities, but we also preserve and celebrate the rich cultural heritage,’ says Justin Mohamed, Australia’s Ambassador for First Nations People. ‘These businesses share our ancient stories, showcase resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of First Nations people.’

‘I am pleased to support these pioneering First Nations businesses to uncover opportunities in Singapore and beyond into Southeast Asia,’ adds H.E. Allaster Cox, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore.

Melanie Harris, Austrade’s Trade and Investment Commissioner, Malaysia and a proud First Nations woman. She noted what a great success this inaugural event was. ‘The participants clearly got a great deal out of it,’ she says.

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