Who Is Many Rivers?
Many Rivers is a for-purpose organisation that provides Microenterprise Development (MED) and Community Economic Development (CED) support to Indigenous and other Australians who want to access the economy however for various reasons, lack the financial or practical business support to do so.
Who We Work With
Our purpose is to walk alongside individuals and communities over the long term, offering accessible business development support, products and services, including pro-bono legal advice and microfinance business loans. With this support individuals and communities can regain control of their financial future, reduce personal stress, move away from welfare dependency, provide for their families and contribute more productively to society (i.e. producing goods and services, income, jobs and financial security).
What We Do
- Microenterprise Development (MED) supports individuals to start, stay and thrive in business.
- Community Economic Development (CED) supports Indigenous organisations and their communities to achieve real economic outcomes.
How We Do It
Many Rivers provides intensive support that is targeted to meet our clients’ individual needs. Microenterprise Development Managers (MEDMs) live and work in the communities. They serve and spend as much time as required with each client to help them gain the skills and knowledge to start and sustain a small business. Including practical support with business planning that involves: understanding and meeting business registration and insurance requirements; market research; risk analysis; review of cashflow; and establishing links with customers and suppliers. During this time people improve their confidence and understanding of the realities of owning and operating a viable enterprise.
Many Rivers has direct access to loan funds through a strategic alliance with Westpac. MEDMs recommend the approval of business loans following an evidence-based assessment that takes into account the individual’s character, capacity and cashflow. These unsecured business loans are typically between $500 to $5,000 with a term of 12 months. Larger loans up to $50,000 can be obtained as clients build a track record of business performance and loan repayment.
A critical element of our approach is our commitment to a long term, multi-year journey with clients. Supporting clients as life and challenges arise that impact the sustainability of their businesses.
Community Economic Development
Many Rivers CED provides support to regional and remote Indigenous communities that want to establish or grow economic activity on their land. Together we step through what is required for a community to strengthen its understanding. Planning, leadership, and organisation to actively participate in the Australian economy and be local leaders in the community’s future direction and prosperity.
We work closely with the elected board and management of a community organisation that represents the interests and welfare of the community. Including Aboriginal Corporations, Land Councils, Land Trusts, Incorporated associations, etc.
CED support is provided through CED Managers who work with a community for approximately 5 years. The intention of the program is for each community to become increasingly capable of independently governing and managing its chosen goals. Plans, community and economic activities, over time no longer needing extensive support.
Interview with our CEO
Many Rivers has over 40 community and business development field officers in 32 regions across Australia
Many Rivers is financially supported by philanthropic donors and foundations, corporate partners, Indigenous corporations and Government agencies that understand the...
In 2011, Many Rivers engaged Deloitte Access Economics to develop a framework to measure the long-term performance of Many Rivers’ microenterprise development...