All this week we are featuring Indigenous start-up, entrepreneurs and small business owners who are trying to make a difference. It’s part of our contribution to celebrating NAIDOC week which in turns celebrates all that is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in Australia. Today we sit down with a young entrepreneur, Steven Satour who is originally from Central Australia. You could say that Steven is somewhat of a serial entrepreneur having started his first business not long after turning twenty and having had his heart set on being a business owner and not working for the “man”.
Most recently Steven kicked off a new business venture called Story Maps Travel. This is his story:
Steven Satour is Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara from Central Australia with strong family ties to NSW. Steven is a driven Indigenous entrepreneur and co-founder of Story Maps Travel Australia.
Storytelling and tourism is rooted within Steven's family with people like his kadja’s (sons) Cassidy and Reggie Uluru, traditional lore men and custodians of Uluru – Australia’s spiritual heart.
Steven has a strong cultural connection, taught by his father, uncles and kadja’s of Tjukurpa (lore) - the connections between people, plants, animals and the land.
Story Maps Travel Australia’s is your one-stop-shop for Indigenous tourism experiences.
The vision: Through Indigenous tourism, we positively impact First Australians social and economic welfare. By celebrating and embracing Indigenous culture we bring all Australia together with engaging Indigenous experiences.
"We work in collaboration with an exciting array of accommodation, activity and tour operators. Creating experiences for you to taste bush tucker, feel the healing powers of nature, discover breathtaking scenery, ancient rock art galleries, meet artists or take an art workshop yourself to gain a first-hand insight into the creation of contemporary Aboriginal art." Steven says
Australia’s vast and differing landscape provides many magical and unique experiences. How better to experience it than with a knowledgeable Aboriginal guide showing you a side of Australia you wouldn’t otherwise see.
What motivated you to get into business? “Since I was 16 years old I have dreamt, and attempted, to start a travel agency.”
“My first attempt was as I was completing an apprenticeship in Tourism whilst living in Townsville, Queensland. While working in a regional town at the biggest tourism transport and service provided I was astounded that the amount of international travellers seeking an Aboriginal experience but couldn’t find one.”
“I quickly become motivated by the desire to solve this problem connect non-indigenous people with indigenous people in positive environments that could have a great social benefit to aboriginal people.’
‘While my first attempt was not a success, I used this desire to grow a career in marketing,
communications and events working in a range of industries in Townsville, Alice Springs and then Sydney.”
“Working predominately with Indigenous Australians my desire or purpose, was reinforced daily. As my professional skill set improved I set out to fulfil my dream and fulfil my desire of having a travel agency which has led me to Story Maps Travel Australia. “
What barriers are you experiencing? “Cash flow, changing industry perspective and recalibrating exceptions of industry reps (wholesalers, etc) and the operators themselves (response times, getting information quickly) etc. Increasing SEO, web traffic and conversions.” These challenges are no different to the ones most start-ups face especially when it comes to managing cash flow. Take a look at the things we think you should know about managing cash-flow and understanding SEO.
If you had a message to potential customers what would it be? “Through Story Maps travel you can immerse yourself in the oldest living culture in the world. With Australian Aboriginal people, in some of the most beautiful, differing landscapes on earth. Our culture, traditions and awe-inspiring landscapes are waiting for you to explore.”
What is your value proposition over everyone else? “An online one stop shop of Aboriginal cultural experiences, ran by Aboriginal people, guided by Aboriginal people for all the people. “
What specifically are you looking for right now? (sales etc.) “Increase in web traffic converting into sales Marketing support and inclusion with industry bodies ie Destination NSW, Tourism Australia”
If you are interested in finding out more contact Steven by connecting to him through his new Facebook page and remember, to make sure to share this story with your networks – who knows, there just may be the customers, partners or suppliers Steven is looking for in your networks as well!
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