Trade Routes

Trade Routes

First Nations Global Growth Program

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Access a platform that combines learning and community to help you take your First Nations owned business to the global stage.

Collaboratively designed alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business consultants, Trade Routes takes a pragmatic, results-focused approach to your global market entry strategy. Every owned and operated First Nations’ business is welcome to explore the self-directed learning portal, which pairs with events designed to connect you with other founders and mentors.

Supported by Global Victoria and powered by RMIT Activator, Trade Routes brings together expert knowledge, practical experience and an extensive network of connections to deliver a program that builds the foundations and capacity for international trade and global growth for each participating First Nations business.

You will work with facilitators and mentors who understand global export isn't just about your bottom line - it's about building on your capacity for growth and finding your trade routes. It's a pathway to teach the world about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture and what that means to Australia.

Trade Routes is a Proud Partner of the Global Victoria Trade Alliance (GVTA).

Welcome to Trade Routes 2022

Find out how you can create your own global strategy and find your Trade Routes.  Applications are open now.

Outcomes:

Capacity building

Identification and prioritisation of global growth opportunities.

Specialised support

A business model designed to give you clarity and focus using targeted market reports.

Networks and events

Build relationships that contribute to a strong business foundation.

Accelerated growth

Development and personalisation of growth plan and trade routes.

Program structure and topics

Trade Routes participants are welcomed into an online learning hub where they can pick and choose the content that applies to their business journey, at their own pace. The following topics are just a selection of what you’ll learn once you’re onboarded.

Welcome

Why are you here? Get to know who is contributing to your Trade Routes experience and why the program is so important in your export strategy.

Intellectual Property

Tools you need to understand the basics of patents, trade marks and designs so you can understand how IP can apply to your business and what your next steps might be.

Using Blockchain

Blockchain promises to make up the digital infrastructure for the Australian and global economy. Find out how Blockchain applications can help your business convert global success.

Sustainable Packaging

Find ways to keep your footprint light as you export your service or trade around the world.

eCommerce

How can you sell further afield than ever before?

Global Markets

Understanding what you need to know about new customers, the markets you’ll find them in and how to break through.

Time commitments

Online Learning Hub

Take the modules at your own pace. We recommend a module a week to keep up with the content, which can be allocated to different people in your team.

90 Day Global Accelerator

An optional extension of the Trade Routes program, the 90 Day Global Accelerator is for people who want to take their learning further.

Social Connection Events

Here’s where you’ll share your progress with likeminded First Nations founders and Trade Routes mentors and the team - and plenty of other new faces. 


Roughly an hour per week.

90 minute sessions weekly over 90 days.

Varying times, taking place monthly.

Three people at a work function holding plates of food and collaborating.

Trade Routes Export Grant

Twenty businesses will be awarded $7500 if they complete enough elements of the Trade Routes program. The following criteria applies:

  • Are you applying as a Victorian-registered, First Nations owned business?
  • Have you completed the 90 day Global Growth Immersion Program at 80% attendance? OR
  • Have you completed 12 hours worth of Trade Routes programs/events

Join Trade Routes

Ready to see what it’s all about? Join other First Nations business owners, managers and their teams in our online community and be the first to know about the next social connection event in the calendar. The registration process is simple - just click apply to get started.

Steering committee and facilitators

We are excited to introduce our steering committee, chaired by Bevan Mailman and featuring leaders from First Nations businesses. The committee, along with RMIT Activator team members meet monthly to ensure Trade Routes is continuing to provide First Nations business with the best possible opportunities and outcomes.

Meet the facilitators behind Trade Routes who deliver expert global workshops designed to provide strategic, tactical and practical advice to take your business to the global market.

Bevan Mailman

Managing Principal, Jaramer Legal

George Di Scala

Acting Director, International Market Development Global Victoria

Professor Gary Thomas

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Education, Research and Engagement, RMIT University

Leslie Delaforce

Indigenous Entrepreneurship Director, Minderoo Foundation

Isabelle Meere

Global Engagement Manager, Austrade

Hans Bokelund

Associate Deputy Secretary, DJPR

Kaylene Hunter

Lawyer, Jaramer Legal

Cynthia Dearin

Facilitator Founder and International Business Strategist, Dearin & Associates

Trade Routes 2021 alumni

A grey background with images of four shops, with the words 'Trade Routes Expo, Building a global First Nations economy' at the top

Want to learn more about the Trade Routes 2021 businesses?

See what they have to offer at the Trade Routes 2021 Expo: a curated shopping experience; outstanding First Nations owned and operated businesses.

 

“What this program has done is create a drive. We have become more proactive, creative and competitive. It’s been fantastic to be involved in this program”.

- Bob Sax, Yarn Strong Sista

FAQ

The Online Learning Portal is completely online. Social Connection Events are mostly in-person, but for our interstate participants we will always deliver a virtual element which could be a livestream or recording of the event. the 90 Day Global Accelerator Program will be delivered in a virtual classroom, available to people joining in from anywhere. 

Thanks to our partnership with GlobalVic, the Trade Routes program is completely free to participate - plus there are exciting funding opportunities available for Victorian businesses through the Export Grant. 

RMIT Activator (the Trade Routes facilitation partner) does not take any stake in your IP and we wish to not be involved in any IP ownership-related issues. The knowledge we share on this program is the University’s way of supporting the First Nations business community with no strings attached.

Trade Routes is designed specifically for First Nations owned and managed businesses who are interested in exploring pathways to export their product/service globally. Businesses from around Australia are encouraged to join!

The Trade Routes commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Businesses

We are 100% dedicated to supporting you, to protect you and your company, not only with intellectual property but First Nations knowledge. That means including expert sessions around Intellectual Property, Trademarking, and more. Our friends at IP Australia have developed awesome resources to get the conversation started: read more at the indigenous Knowledge IP Hub. 

We strongly believe in your unique branding advantage. We help you develop this further with expert sessions on identifying your ideal audience and exploring international marketing channels specific to your business. 

Trade Routes reflects the values outlined in RMIT's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), specifically creating greater opportunities and building strong relationships. 

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.