First Nations Founders Stories

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Name: Phillip Harris

Mob/Heritage: Wiradjuri and Eastern Arrernte

Business concept:
Our short-term platform is a music-booking marketplace, which aims to help connect musicians with customers. In the long run, we will be adding new and improving on existing online features that will assist in setting us apart from the generic marketplace model and our competitors. 

The biggest reward I will get out of this venture is the relationships and connections I build with and between customers, helping me create something they not only want, but also need. I am very excited to see where Aartbi takes me. 

What's your inspiration?
My biggest inspiration would be Brian Chesky and the other Airbnb founding crew. Everything about Airbnb’s journey is inspirational to me. But I also admire how they do not shy away from taking a stance on social injustices and inequalities. I wish that one day, I can help make the same social impact for my mob.

The biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I had to overcome during my entrepreneurial journey, was not having a strong technological background. I really had to dig deep and research all of the tech requirements needed to build such a platform. After spending months of learning, I was ready to bring my idea to life. It just goes to show that you don’t need to be a techy to build a tech company – there’s always ways around it.

Why do you think entrepreneurship is important for Indigenous communities? 
Indigenous entrepreneurship is pivotal towards Closing the Gap on issues concerning economic development and employment. I believe it is up to powerful and wealthy Indigenous leaders to give back by funding real solutions and hiring our own mob. Apart from being gifted footy players, we are also naturally creative thinkers and hard workers – it is time we prove that Australia.