Indigenous Business Case Studies
Jasmin Herro embodies the 2018 NAIDOC theme, 'Because of her, we can'.
Born in Cairns, Jasmin Herro comes from a Torres Strait Islander background. She has always been entrepreneurial – from an early age she was selling mandarins from a box out the front of her father's service station.
Today she is the CEO and founder of Outback Global – a strategic sourcing company that provides procurement solutions to corporate and government organisations, including uniforms, workwear, promotional merchandise and other business products.
Since founding the company five years ago, Herro has built an extensive trade network across Asia and the Pacific and has offices in China and the United States.
Herro's latest business venture is the 240-piece Indigenous-branded stationery range Tjindgarmi (Jind jar mee) for business and Teter Mek for educators. Both are available exclusively through OfficeMax and Winc.
The Teter Mek arts and crafts range for educators includes children's storybooks. Teter Mek and the Mystery of Pearl Shell Island and Teter Mek and the Stolen Crocodile Eggs are two of nine storybooks Herro has produced so far. Aimed at primary school years 4, 5 and 6, each storybook comes with a curriculum–aligned workbook, the first of which was released in November 2018.
A portion of the profits from the sales of Tjindgarmi and Teter Mek products is donated to the Teter Mek Foundation. The foundation creates educational resources to encourage children from all backgrounds (including non-Indigenous Australians) to find out about and connect with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
"My purpose for embarking on the Teter Mek project was to help my children with their Indigenous identity," says Herro. "I believe if we can make a positive change to the way the millions of non‑Indigenous Australians feel about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, arts and culture – that would leave a lasting impact.
"The success of projects like Teter Mek only come about when you find others who share your values and beliefs, build strong relationships based on trust and surround yourself with those who believe in your dreams."
Herro has added to her depth of business knowledge by attending supplier diversity events. In 2015, she joined a trade delegation to Canada with then Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb. While in North America, she also attended the 2015 Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas, held by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.
Herro has been recognised for her business success with several business awards. These include being named a 2014 AFR/Westpac – 100 Women of Influence, a 2014 Melbourne Business School – Outstanding Recent Alumnus, and a Supply Nation award winner in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Herro, however, doesn't rest on her laurels. By maintaining her businesses and continuously looking for new ideas, she strives to inspire future generations of women and girls to harness their talents and create businesses based on solid commercial ideas.