Visa Foundation Invests $2M in Indigenous Businesses

Visa Foundation Invests $2M in Indigenous Businesses

First Australians Capital (FAC), a national Indigenous-led fund manager and business advisory organization, has received a significant boost of $2 million from the Visa Foundation. This investment is aimed at supporting Indigenous businesses on their journey towards equity and opportunity through FAC’s Catalytic Impact Fund. Visa Foundation Invests $2M in Indigenous Businesses

FAC plays a crucial role in connecting investment markets with the Indigenous economy by providing accessible, patient debt finance to support First Nations businesses. Their mission is to address racial inequity in Australia’s finance sector and foster economic empowerment within Indigenous communities.

Since its establishment in 2016, FAC has made a substantial impact, working with over 800 businesses and leveraging more than $80 million in capital to scale sustainable Indigenous businesses. Through diverse, impact-driven investments, FAC aims to create long-term social and environmental benefits for Indigenous businesses and communities.

Brian Wyborn, FAC’s managing partner and a Torres Strait Islander and Papua New Guinean man, welcomed the investment from Visa Foundation, highlighting its significance in supporting Indigenous businesses. He expressed gratitude for the partnership and emphasized their shared commitment to economic empowerment and self-determination within Indigenous communities.

Visa Foundation’s investment will contribute to FAC’s Catalytic Impact Fund, which aims to provide vital capital and opportunities to Indigenous businesses across Australia. Graham Macmillan, President of Visa Foundation, emphasized the foundation’s core goal of supporting women and underserved entrepreneurs, aligning with FAC’s mission. He praised FAC’s track record and expressed enthusiasm for collaborating to create a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The investment from Visa Foundation adds to FAC’s growing list of investors, including recent contributions from global technology company Block, the Paul Ramsey Foundation, AMP Foundation, CAGES Foundation, and a $500,000 seed capital grant from insurance giant QBE.

FAC’s impact is evident in its operations, with a $13 million concept fund deployed since 2021, supporting 282 Indigenous businesses in the financial year ending 2023. Notably, 31% of these businesses were female-led, and 52% were located in regional and rural areas. The construction, arts and recreation, retail, and professional services sectors have been significant beneficiaries of FAC’s support.

Looking ahead, FAC’s 10-year strategy aims to drive radical change in investment markets, with a focus on tripling investment in the Indigenous business sector and leveraging $1 billion in mainstream capital for investment. Through partnerships and investments like the one with Visa Foundation, FAC remains committed to creating opportunities and fostering economic prosperity for Indigenous businesses and communities.

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