What’s the news?
Supply Nation, Commonwealth Bank and DXC Technology will today unveil a new app, named JumpStart, which has been designed to connect Indigenous businesses with skilled volunteers.
The idea was conceived by Supply Nation and Indigenous business owners on a Commonwealth Bank sponsored trip to the world’s innovation capital, Silicon Valley, in February 2016, and was developed here in Australia by Supply Nation, Commonwealth Bank and DXC Technology with support from Indigenous-certified supplier NGNY.
The app will be formally unveiled at Supply Nation’s Connect conference in Sydney later today.
Why is this a big deal?
Since its establishment in 2009, Supply Nation has helped thousands of Indigenous businesses secure procurement contracts with hundreds of government departments and major corporates.
However, getting Indigenous businesses access to professional networks and skilled support has proven an altogether more difficult challenge. The lack of access has been a constant frustration for many Indigenous businesses that are keen to grow, but need skilled support, advice and mentorship to do so.
The JumpStart program aims to tackle this challenge head on. The app makes it easy for Indigenous businesses to connect with skilled professionals interested in volunteering their time.
Importantly, JumpStart allows for both short-term and longer-term volunteering opportunities, covering tasks that may take as little as one hour to projects that could take a number of weeks.
How many Indigenous businesses are signing up to use the app?
Already, 90 Indigenous businesses have said they will sign up to participate, and it is expected that dozens more of Supply Nation’s 450+ certified Indigenous businesses will sign up to join the program over the coming weeks.
How many skilled volunteers are signing up to use the app?
All of Supply Nation’s 259 corporate and government partners will be invited to participate in the program. Once a government department or corporation registers for the program, all of its employees are eligible to sign up as skilled volunteers.
So how will the app work?
Through the JumpStart app, skilled volunteers are able to create an online profile, outlining their skills and the times they are available to volunteer.
As and when Indigenous businesses require specific skills to support them with projects, they are able to create a succinct brief outlining the project for which they seek assistance. This might be around cash flow forecasting, a PR campaign for the launch of a new product or coaching in preparation for a tender pitch.
The project briefs are made available to all relevant registered volunteers, and with the press of a button, those with the right skills are connected to the Indigenous business seeking the skills.
What else is Commonwealth Bank doing to help Indigenous businesses?
Investing in the growth of a strong Indigenous business sector is a central tenet of Commonwealth Bank’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
In addition to the app, the JumpStart Program also comprises innovation workshops for Indigenous businesses which Commonwealth Bank runs in partnership with Queensland Airports Limited. To date, workshops have been held on the Gold Coast and in Townsville, with 95 Indigenous businesses participating to date. The next workshop will be held in Sydney in partnership with Bariyu Aboriginal Corporation, UTS and other organisations on 25 and 26 May.
Commonwealth Bank is also running a number of other programs outside of JumpStart. These initiatives have been created to improve the way the Bank engages with Indigenous businesses, from building our team’s cultural capability to addressing access to finance and increasing procurement opportunities.
Commonwealth Bank’s commitment to role-modelling reconciliation is part of the Group’s corporate responsibility plan, Opportunity Initiatives, which is focused on driving positive change through education, innovation and good business practice.
How do I sign up to the app?
Any Indigenous-certified supplier of Supply Nation is able to register on the app to access support. For government departments and corporates interested in accessing the app to provide their people with a unique engagement opportunity, they should contact Supply Nation to sign up.
The JumpStart app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
What have people said about the app?
Jason Timor, Deputy CEO of Supply Nation, said: “We’re confident the JumpStart app will be a game-changer for many Indigenous businesses. For small businesses in particular, getting access to skilled advice, assistance and mentorship can be transformational. We’re delighted the app is now up and running and are confident it will help many of our Indigenous-certified suppliers to grow, both in terms of capability and size.”
Sharona Torrens, Executive Manager of Indigenous Affairs at Commonwealth Bank, said: “Through our Reconciliation Action Plan, we are committed to investing in the growth of the Indigenous business sector. The JumpStart partnership with Supply Nation provides us with an opportunity to not only connect with Indigenous businesses on commercial opportunities, it provides our people with meaningful opportunities to share their skills with inspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs and learn more about their business.”
Liam Harte, CEO and Founder of Integrity Health & Safety, said: “Commbank staff have been providing their advice, time and expertise to Indigenous businesses for years now. I see JumpStart as a tool to streamline that advice and provide it to more businesses, particularly those in regional and rural locations where getting access to skilled volunteers and mentors can be difficult. JumpStart will give Indigenous companies who don’t have large turnover (just yet!) the support and guidance they need to take their businesses to the next level.”
Gordon Hoff, CBA Account General Manager, DXC Technology, said: “DXC Technology is committed to supporting the local communities in which we operate, and the JumpStart app is indicative of this. Our collaboration on JumpStart with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Supply Nation and NGNY, an Indigenous digital agency, has provided Indigenous businesses a breakthrough platform to develop and scale their business, and demonstrates the power of technology and innovation for affecting meaningful change within our Australian community.”
Are there any pictures or videos that provide more information?
Videos on Commonwealth Bank’s Reconciliation Action Plan, including our work with Indigenous businesses, can be found here.
For screengrabs of the JumpStart app, please contact the Commonwealth Bank Media Team on 02 9118 6819 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Supply Nation
Supply Nation is the Australian leader in supplier diversity, established in 2009 to connect our membership of Australia's leading brands and government with Indigenous businesses across the country. Supply Nation's rigorous registration and certification processes ensure our members can be confident of Indigenous ownership. With Indigenous businesses active in every state and territory, in every industry sector, Supply Nation has been central to the growth of a new economic force. Supply Nation is proud to be the first and pre-eminent supplier diversity organisation in Australia.
About Commonwealth Bank
Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s leading provider of integrated financial services. As the nation’s largest company, Commonwealth bank is committed to playing an important role in reconciliation. The bank was a founding member of Supply Nation when it was formed in 2009, and continues to closely support this leading directory of Indigenous businesses.
About DXC Technology
DXC Technology (DXC: NYSE) is the world’s leading independent, end-to-end IT services company, helping clients harness the power of innovation to thrive on change. Created by the merger of CSC and the Enterprise Services business of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, DXC Technology serves nearly 6,000 private and public sector clients across 70 countries. The company’s technology independence, global talent and extensive partner network combine to deliver powerful next-generation IT services and solutions. DXC Technology is recognized among the best corporate citizens globally. For more information, visit www.dxc.technology.