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Business Spotlight: Ngarrimili

We’ve been partnering with Business Chicks for a couple of years now and have loved the opportunities and exposure this has brought to our network of First Nations founders and entrepreneurs.  

We realised though that we haven’t ever shared with the Business Chicks community some of our achievements in changing the landscape for First Nations women in business. Throughout National Reconciliation Week we thought it a great time to celebrate the women of Ngarrimili and share some opportunities for you to get involved in our work.     

Ngarrimili is an Aboriginal led not for profit that supports aspiring and established First Nations businesses and creatives nationally. We provide wrap-around support to help fast track the journey into business and also break down systemic barriers still in place due to the impacts of colonisation and ongoing structural inequities.  

Through a network of First Nations mentors and specialists, we provide 1:1 business and wellbeing support, workshops and networking events – through a lens of culture and connection.  

We’re currently engaged with a network of over 1000 businesses and creatives nationally – of these 83% are women. This is an unheard-of figure, and we think speaks strongly to the safe spaces we create through female leadership and very intentional efforts toward creating gender equity in a very male-dominated sector.  

A great example of this is our Youth Talent Pipeline program which to date has created some incredible opportunities for young First Nations women in business. We think our favourite story would be of our very own Bek Lasky.  

Bek is a proud Wakaya woman living on Larrakia country and at just 21 years old is our Deputy Executive Director (as well as being a co-founder of Soul Sister Co!).  

Bek came to us in a casual administrative role, alongside studying a Bachelor of Business Management (already with a wealth of leadership development under her belt). We quickly recognised her potential to step into a leadership role so worked with Bek to create a role that would allow her to work directly alongside our Founder and CEO, developing the practical skills to run an organisation on the go. Bek is also currently receiving leadership mentoring from an HR specialist, is a Fulla in the 2022 Culture is Life Fullaship Program and running a small business with a close friend Ruby Evans. She’s a woman taking over the world!

We’ve recently received funding from the Office of Women and through this are offering a suite of supports to First

 Nations women in business that includes an upcoming retreat that will bring together twenty women to connect, share and learn. The women will come together for three days on Wadawurrung Country to participate in cultural activities and workshops to nurture themselves and their businesses. 

Some really practical things we have implemented that we believe have been instrumental to the safe spaces we create include offering free childcare at in-person events so parents can fully participate and ensuring a largely female workforce so that women are nearly always supported by women. (This is in addition to truly flexible work arrangements for our staff, including soon to be implemented Menstrual Leave).  

If you’d like to explore how you can get involved in our work supporting First Nations women in business, we’d love to hear from you. Partnerships allow us to scale our impact and we are always looking for opportunities to collaborate with like-minded professionals and businesses- particularly women! If you would like to chat more – please reach out to me at [email protected] 

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