A first of its kind online Indigenous Business Marketplace has recently launched, making it easier for government and corporate buyers to do business with Indigenous suppliers.
The new marketplace is the result of an innovation partnership between the Australian leader in Indigenous supplier diversity, Supply Nation, and multi-award winning software start-up, VendorPanel.
CEO of Supply Nation, Laura Berry, says the Indigenous Business Marketplace marks a leap forward in supplier diversity and Indigenous procurement.
“From today, over 200 government and corporate Supply Nation member organisations will have access to the Indigenous Business Marketplace, helping them source directly from Supply Nation registered and certified Indigenous suppliers,” Ms Berry said.
“Developed using the VendorPanel platform, Indigenous Business Marketplace leverages the award-winning technology to simplify the process of finding verified Indigenous suppliers, getting competitive quotes, and reporting on engagement. It also delivers significant benefits in governance, probity, and competitive value.
“We predict that this new technology will be particularly valuable to Indigenous entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners, as it will give them access to the high volume of smaller projects, below tender thresh hold, that exist within Supply Nation’s government and corporate members. These smaller projects are often better suited to early-stage businesses as they grow.
“Obviously the big tender opportunities are great for the larger, more established Indigenous businesses. However, it is the thousands of lower value projects that we think are really exciting for Indigenous entrepreneurship. Lots of small projects are the lifeblood of early-stage companies and the SME economy, and that’s exactly what we want to support to help build a sustainable and vibrant Indigenous businesses sector.”
What challenge is being solved?
Until now it has proved difficult for member organisations to tap into low value opportunities because these are often decentralised and managed at an operational level across hundreds or thousands of buyers. These new tools will make it simple to harness this opportunity, and in the process drive greater transparency and value for organisations.
Ms Berry says the Indigenous Business Marketplace highlights the positive change in the supplier diversity field, and builds on the success of the Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy, particularly in driving opportunities for Indigenous businesses.
“Indigenous businesses are around 100 times more likely to employ an Indigenous person than other businesses”, Ms Berry said.
“This speaks to the very real flow-on effects Indigenous suppliers have on their communities and the lifeblood of the Australian economy.”
Founder and CEO of VendorPanel, James Leathem, believes that the Indigenous Business Marketplace is a powerful application of the established VendorPanel platform. The SaaS application has won numerous awards for innovation and best practice in procurement, and is used by over 700 government and corporate organisations for other types of procurement.
“The Indigenous Business Marketplace is a particularly exciting initiative demonstrating the powerful role technology can play in helping to drive positive social outcomes,” Mr Leathem said.
“Not only does it simplify processes and provide better reporting for government and corporate buyers, but, most importantly, it gives Indigenous suppliers better access to real business opportunities, which is good news for all parties.”