Dream Venture Masterclasses Fuelling The Next Wave of First Nations’ Entrepreneurs

Minderoo Dream Venture

Dream Venture Masterclasses Fuelling The Next Wave of First Nations’ Entrepreneurs

Minderoo Dream Venture
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We often hear about the structural disadvantages faced by First Nations’ people. But how often do we hear about some of the programs that are being championed to help close the gap?

One such program is Dream Venture — a leading national program, led by Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One initiative, equipping First Nations entrepreneurs with the connections and capabilities they need to bring their entrepreneurial dreams to life. The Dream Venture Masterclasses are free and will be delivered online, helping to increase access and participation. 

So, other than the education and networking aspects, how does this help First Nations’ entrepreneurs? So far, more than 200 entrepreneurs have participated in the program and as a result, they’ve raised more than $4 million from investors to help grow their business. 

What does this actually mean? We’ve probably all watched at least one episode of Shark Tank on TV, whether it be the Australian one, the American version, or the original English version called Dragon’s Den. Business owners go on the show to pitch their business in the hope of getting a shark to invest and help them grow it into a global success. While the $4 million these First Nations’ entrepreneurs have raised wasn’t on a TV show with all the glitz and glamour of a production studio, it’s essentially the same process — pitching your ideas to investors in the hope they can help you make it happen.

Shelley Cable, Director of Generation One, expressed her excitement for the upcoming Dream Venture Masterclasses, stating, “We are constantly inspired by the innovative First Nations founders who take part in this program, who are redefining success in Australian business, and making Australian investors take notice. We are humbled to play a small part in their business journeys through the Dream Venture Masterclasses.”

What you need to know if you want to apply

Applications for the Dream Venture Masterclasses are now open. To cap it off, there’s also $200,000 of seed funding on offer — the largest pre-accelerator prize for First Nations business owners in Australia. 

This year’s Masterclasses will be offered in two distinct streams to cater to the diverse needs and aspirations of First Nations entrepreneurs:

  1. Youth Program: Aimed at entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 30, the Youth Program provides a unique platform for Dream Venture participants to connect with influential business leaders and potential investors. By tapping into global networks and accessing mentorship from highly accomplished founders in the region, young entrepreneurs will gain invaluable guidance and resources to accelerate their business growth.
  1. All Ages Program: The All Ages Dream Venture Masterclass is designed to support 20 First Nations Australian entrepreneurs of any age. This tailored program offers a comprehensive curriculum that prepares participants for sustainable enterprise growth. It also facilitates valuable connections with mentors, investors, and peers, enabling First Nations entrepreneurs to transform their entrepreneurial dreams into successful realities.

Cable encouraged all aspiring First Nations founders seeking to grow their businesses through investment to apply for this year’s Dream Venture Masterclasses, emphasising the program’s high-quality education and unparalleled access to investors across the country. By participating in the Masterclasses, entrepreneurs and their businesses can develop the necessary skills and networks to thrive in the competitive business landscape.

Les Delaforce, Head of Indigenous Business at Generation One, highlighted the pivotal role of First Nations businesses in providing employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians. Delaforce expressed enthusiasm for supporting more First Nations founders, noting, “This authentic, tailored program is critical to nurturing the next generation of First Nations entrepreneurs and ensuring they have the capability and connections to thrive in the business world.”

First Nations entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Dream Venture Masterclasses are encouraged to visit the Minderoo Foundation Generation One website and submit their applications.