Building a nationwide culture of entrepreneurialism and why deadly entrepreneurs matter
By Dr Sarah Jones, CEO of Sydney School of Entrepreneurship
At the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE), we believe that unlocking the entrepreneurial mindset is key to self-determination and a vital element in building and sharing prosperity. We know that it takes a village to raise an entrepreneur and that through collaborative partnerships we can inspire change, deliver lasting impact, and create a truly diverse community of next-generation entrepreneurs, city-shapers, place-makers, innovators, and prosperity builders.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are this country’s original storytellers, innovators, and place-makers, and are integral to raising Australia’s competitive advantage.
They live a continuous historical and cultural thread woven into a rich tapestry of over 65,000 years of collective knowledge and experience. Today, as we grapple with a seemingly unrelenting cascade of wicked problems and existential challenges, Australia’s diverse First Peoples draw from their rich legacy of knowledge and practice to innovate and ideate solutions to questions of land management and climate knowledge, justice and human rights, education, health, politics, arts, and everything in between.
The privilege gap: a roadblock to entrepreneurial thinking
In Australia, the privilege gap is growing, and fast. We already know that lack of access to technology, education, visible mentors, and affordable housing (to name a few) are some of the obstacles that shape a person, and their capacity to pursue self-determination and realise life’s opportunities. As is commonly understood, and as we see too often at SSE, you can’t be what you don’t see. It’s why we actively partner with more diverse communities, amazing individuals, and inspiring Elders to deliver our programs, and unleash and showcase the often-untapped talent and expertise of Australia’s diverse populations.
In partnering specifically with communities and people who are historically underrepresented and underserved, our programs are able to help a more diverse population increase their self-determination, gain financial awareness and confidence, and explore more personalised pathways and opportunities to further education and employment.
Collaborative partnerships with First Nations entrepreneurs
It takes a village to raise an entrepreneur.
Engaging the unique knowledge and practice of Aboriginal entrepreneurs from the local communities in which programs are delivered, to co-design and co-deliver with us, is a vital component of our educational practice and business model. This professional development, skills-building opportunity has become a signature feature of our program offering, and in the near future all these Satellite Facilitators will undergo ‘SSE-certified professional training’ microcredential as part of their engagement with SSE. Their enduring connection to the community has multiple knock-on benefits for all parties; the Facilitators themselves can continue to amplify our education and training, they have an opportunity to support and mentor budding entrepreneurs, and all parties are able to forge networks and industry connections to further support local endeavours.
Aboriginal teens in Tamworth reaping the rewards
One of SSE’s inaugural Satellite Facilitators is Kayleb Waters-Sampson. A Gomeroi man from Walhallow (Caroona Mission), Kayleb is a Tamworth-based artist, performer, and founder and operator of Ngurrambaa. He’s also an Alum of the Gomeroi Dance Company and a Cultural Mentor for the Gomeroi Culture Academy.
We engaged Kayleb to co-deliver our Invest in Yourself: Exploring Money and Self-Employment program, which teaches participants about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, money mindset, and self-employment, to a cohort of 16 Aboriginal students aged 14-17 from the Tamworth region in February.
Reflecting on the program, Kayleb expressed his delight and pride in the students’ contributions, curiosity, ideas, and entrepreneurial mindsets. “It’s so good to see [the students] opening up and exploring their minds and seeing all these new ideas, and just being curious. The most important thing I hope they take away is…knowing that if they have an idea they can run with it and there will be support there for them.”
After the success of the Tamworth delivery, last month (28-29 June) we invited Kayleb to share his expertise and business nous with another cohort of senior high school students in Gunnedah, and are excited to have been given the green light to deliver Invest in Yourself to eight more regional locations across NSW later this year. We’d love to grow our Satellite Facilitator pool across these regions and will be offering our new microcredential training course as part of the engagement.
As we look to deliver on these next programs and others, we want our work to be more compelling, and deliver more positive impact than at any other time in our history, so we are actively seeking communities, entrepreneurs, businesses, and government to partner with, to deliver on these shared opportunities of creating improved outcomes for more people.
About Dr Sarah Jones:
Dr Sarah Jones PhD is CEO of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE), Australia's first and only Government-initiated School of Entrepreneurship. SSE exists to inspire change, deliver impact, and create a diverse community of next-generation entrepreneurs, city-shapers, place-makers, innovators, and prosperity builders in Australia.