In recent months we have seen a decline in the activity in the Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business community, due to COVID and a slower economy, many of our businesses have been severely impacted.
During the chaos some of our businesses have displayed awe inspiring resilience, wither that is delivering food to quarantined mob or holding virtual happy hours. Our wider Indigenous community have endured some hardships over the decades and this pandemic brought out some of the best characteristics in us, and maybe some of the things we need to work on.
Not all was doom and gloom, members also found themselves with sales growth that far exceeded their existing capacity and capability, and from that they were able to forge new relationships birthed out of a very trying time. These businesses then were scrambling for talent, Indigenous talent to fill the newly created positions.
At Kinaway Chamber of Commerce we pride ourselves on partnering long term with ethical, like minded organisations that want to bring change to their organisations, people and customers by integrating Indigenous entrepreneurship throughout all levels of the business.
One of those businesses is Happsa group, founded in 2015, Happsa is a national commercial cleaning, maintenance and security company. Providing services to the commercial, retail, industrial, education and government sectors.
Managing Director Operations Harry Georgiou is excited to be aligning Happsa with Kinaway Chamber of Commerce.
“Engaging with and supporting our community is one of our foundational pillars. From supporting underprivileged groups to championing Indigenous rights and sponsoring local sporting clubs, we use our platform to make a positive impact.”
“Our people drive this and are our point of difference. They are innovative, skilled, reliable, and flexible.”
A company that values it’s people over it’s profit is the reason why Kinaway are partnering with Happsa group to help facilitate the creation of an Indigenous cleaning company based here in regional Victoria.
In order to diversify company spends, Happsa have aligned with Indigenous companies in the past but want to do more. The creation of an 100% Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander company will aid Happsa in their reconciliation journey and Kinaway in our mandates to increase the economic participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the wider Victorian business sector.
You could be a group or an individual with no experience in cleaning, however a basic passion and understanding of business is required. The rest will be provided via mentoring from both Kinaway and Happsa group staff.
This is the model that Kinaway will be exploring over the coming months as our businesses have either closed up shop, diversified or restructured entirely. During this process our business leaders have had time to reflect on what they value the most, many of our entrepreneurs have reprioritised their working lives to create something more sustainable to support not just their income, but their families health and wellbeing.
Kinaway is from the Gunnai language meaning “exchange.”
Kinaway Chamber of Commerce is the leading Victorian organisation dedicated to supporting Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners. Our focus is on changing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s lives through a strength-based model of business ownership and participation in the Victorian economy.
Kinaway Chamber of Commerce works closely with businesses by providing
These services provide an essential framework to promote and support the ongoing operation of Aboriginal businesses.
Kinaway Chamber of Commerce fosters and develops partnerships with government, corporates and academia to build procurement opportunities and facilitate support to Aboriginal businesses.