New hub inspires Indigenous innovation

Posted on 12 Mar 2024

By Greg Thom, journalist, Institute of Community Doirectors Australia

Aboriginal flag sunset

The nation’s first innovation hub and think tank founded by First Nations women has opened in Broome.

The Make it Happen HQ (MIHHQ) is designed to support First Nations entrepreneurs in remote Australia.

Born from the challenges of limited access to resources, the hub is intended to empower Indigenous entrepreneurs in isolated communities by fusing country wisdom with cutting-edge digital support.

Designed by indigenous entrepreneurs Cara and Adele Peek, founders of The Cultural Intelligence Project, the innovative hub aims to foster an environment where First Nations entrepreneurship can thrive.

It offers co-working facilities, hot desks, meeting booths, support services, events and access to MIHHQ’s programs.

Depending on their level of membership, entrepreneurs can access programs that are already successfully running in Indigenous communities and online, including:

  • the full throttle Indigenous business accelerator, designed to provide entrepreneurs with digital skills and community support
  • the swagga e-commerce program, which connects local artisans with global market
  • the hustle + flow program designed to arm business owners with essential financial management skills for sustainable success.

There are also plans to launch a dedicated STEM program to open up new avenues in the e-sports industry for First Nations youth.

Make It Happen HQ launch
The team celebrates the launch of the Make It Happen HQ in Broome. (Picture Michael Jalaru Torres)
“To us, it’s about creating success stories that contribute to a legacy that is a testament to the indomitable spirit of our ancestors.”
MIHHQ co-founder Adele Peek.

The new facility in Broome also houses the First Nation Think Tank, a collective of “experts and allies” focused on using strategic thinking and innovative projects to drive change and champion economic self-determination for remote Indigenous communities.

MIHHQ co-founder Adele Peek said the project had been a long time coming.

Adele Peek
Make It Happen HQ co-founder Adele Peek.

“We would like to thank all of our fellow First Nation entrepreneurs who show up, step up and shout out,” she said.

“It's not easy being an independent thought leader, ahead of what others conceive as possible, when you are a living, breathing example of the impossible – a descendent of the first entrepreneurs.”

Ms Peek said as an entrepreneur herself, she knew first-hand the barriers in place for First Nations entrepreneurs living in remote parts of Australia.

“We started MIHHQ to ensure that every First Nations entrepreneur is equipped to shape the future, challenge the status quo, and leave an indelible mark on the world.

“To us, it’s about creating success stories that contribute to a legacy that is a testament to the indomitable spirit of our ancestors.”

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