chapter  2
12 Pages

The dark side of responsible business management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dennis Foley, University of Canberra, Australia

This chapter is a reflection of both research and experience in the Indigenous small business space, written for those interested in understanding some of the stressors experienced by Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs. The author is an Aboriginal business scholar who has owned and operated several enterprises. If policy-makers

and a wider audience are better informed about Indigenous peoples and business, perhaps they can show more ethical and responsible behavior with increased positive interaction when dealing with Indigenous enterprises. It is undeniable that Indigenous small business creation is an important mechanism within Indigenous economic development. Policies driven both by the state and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) recognize this. However, a dichotomy exists in neo-liberal philosophy, with reduced funding for welfare, education, and social support, while purportedly promoting wealth creation through Indigenous enterprise. We must acknowledge and accept that the cause of Indigenous welfare dependency and poverty is a direct outcome of colonization. Modern Indigenous enterprise creation is often a misguided attempt by the colonizer to rebuild commercial enterprise and wealth that existed for Aboriginals prior to invasion. The state, thus, finances the symptoms and not the causation of poverty. The state may have good intentions, but their implementation and foresight is similar to that of “Mr. Magoo”: blind to policy that is often lacking empirical data and/or community interaction.1