Grants on offer for First Nations business owners

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners are being urged to enter this year’s CGU Kayku Kumpa Award competition, which gives them the chance to win one of five CGU-funded $5000 grants designed to provide First Nations business owners with support in paying for personal and professional development that will help them grow their business.

“At CGU we proudly support the ambition of small-business owners around Australia by protecting their businesses,” CGU Executive Manager Phil Lockyer said. “It’s been a tough year for many small businesses due to the pandemic, so we’re looking forward to launching the CGU Kayku Kumpa Award again to support the growth and skills development of First Nations small business-owners. Especially at a time when their contribution to our communities is so important.

“We received strong applications during last year’s awards program from a range of innovative small businesses, which makes us excited to see what this year’s ingenious ideas from First Nations businesses will bring to our communities,” Lockyer added.

The recipients of the grants handed out via the scheme last year include a business that specialises in first aid training and workplace safety supplies, a consulting firm that provides renewable energy and microgrid services, a catering business, an events and conference management organisation, and a business that produces yoga mats designed by Aboriginal


One of those recipients, Jadah Pleiter, founder of Panku – the first aid training and workplace safety supplies provider – said that alongside the encouragement from being recognised for their work, the grant also enabled them to make invest in the development of their business.

“Receiving the $5000 grant made it possible for us to access expert legal, HR and marketing advice,” Pleiter said. “That has allowed us to grow our business and has given my family the opportunity to create the future we want.”

The award takes its name from the local language of the Gringai people of the Wonnarua nation of the Hunter Valley in NSW. Kayku Kumpa (pronounced Kuy – koo Koom – pah) means ‘strong yesterday, stronger tomorrow’, and was chosen because it represents the opportunity for recipients to become stronger as business owners and help create a better future for themselves, their communities and the enterprise they run.

The CGU business grant is open to Indigenous-owned small to medium businesses. The application form can be found at:

Applications open Monday 28 September 2020 and close at 5pm on Sunday 25 October 2020. Winners will be announced during NAIDOC week from 8 to 15 November 2020.

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