Understanding the Australian Indigenous Entrepreneur through Narratives

Branka Krivokapic-Skoko, Tracey Trudgett, Sonya Pearce, Mark Morrison, Jock Collins, Parikshit Basu

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Many Indigenous entrepreneurs provided financial assistance, employment opportunities and sought to aid the Indigenous community in whatever way they could via their business. A further issue when considering the factors influencing Indigenous business success is that success is often evaluated differently from the perspective of the Indigenous entrepreneur. For many Indigenous people and communities, profit is not seen as the definitive measure of business success, and other measures such as securing employment of community members have greater importance. While carrying out a thematic analysis of the data it became clear that the narratives were central to how Indigenous entrepreneurs recall, make sense of their experiencing in start up and running the businesses. The accounts gathered from the narrative case studies also revealed a tension between self-identity and the constraints the identity place on business operations. Furthermore, the perception of the success was largely determined by self-identify and particular context of Indigenous culture and community.This paper focuses on the categorical content of the narratives of a sample of 35 Australian Indigenous entrepreneurs. The narrative case studies revealed patterns and coherence across Indigenous entrepreneurs talking about success factors and making sense of their business experience. The paper also outlines principles of culturally appropriate research methods for doing research in Indigenous communities and protocols which enable researchers to confidently engage with Indigenous Australians. Protocols such as the use of appropriate communication methods, the development of mutual trust and the need for reciprocity provide researchers with basic guidelines to follow regarding consultation and negotiation with Indigenous Australians. Six sets of values which underpin core principles to research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are reciprocity, respect, responsibility, sprit and integrity, and survival and protection. One significant observation identified by the researchers was the strong sense of community amongst the Indigenous entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs were part of significant formal and informal networks and were often volunteers or members of community groups and organisations. Mutual sharing was also noteworthy, particularly with the local Indigenous community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECRM 2013 Proceedings
EditorsIsabel Ramos, Anabela mesquita
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies - University of Minho, Guimaraes, Portugal
Duration: 04 Jul 201305 Jul 2013
http://www.proceedings.com/18569.html (proceedings)

Publication series

ISSN (Print)2049-0968


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
Internet address


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