The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commercial Development Corporation represents the most recent in a line of government programs aimed at increasing levels of Indigenous self-management and economic self-sufficiency by involving Indigenous people in businesses. However, the Corporation appears to mark a change from earlier programs inasmuch as it is required to operate along strictly commercial lines and it utilises the strategy of creating joint ventures between Indigenous and non-Indigenous business people. This paper outlines the history of Indigenous enterprise programs over the last 20 years, the formation of the Corporation and its present operations. The paper argues that the Corporation's legislation implies that it will create Indigenous entrepreneurs and business managers, and some of the issues within the concept of Indigenous entrepreneurship in Australia are discussed. However, the paper concludes that the Corporation's commercial activities are constrained in part by its pursuit of some social goals and, in summary, calls for a methodology that can illustrate the costs of having mixed social and economic goals and which can show whether the Corporation is indeed creating entrepreneurs as a means of increasing levels of Indigenous self-management and economic self-sufficiency.
ISBN: 0 7315 1787 3