Dixie Crawford began her boutique consulting firm, Nganya, in 2018. She is a Barkindji woman, and in her language, “nganya” means “firelight”.
Self-doubt, overwhelm and a fear of failure never put out Crawford’s firelight, as she built her business to where it is today, working with a wide range of companies – from NGOs and government agencies to multi-national corporations.
Her driving commitment, however, is amplifying the voices of First Nations Australians.
Women’s Agenda spoke with Dixie Crawford from Nganya. This is her story.
Can you give us a brief description of your business?
Nganya is a boutique consulting firm specialising in the development and implementation of Reconciliation Action Plans in Australia. Our clients include small and medium, large multi-national corporations, NGOs and government agencies. We are committed to ensuring the voices of First Nations people and communities are heard, understood and acted on. Our work is to enable change through education, story-telling and connecting corporations with First Nations Australians for relevant and impactful outcomes on social justice and equity.
What inspired you to start your business?
I started my business when I felt I had outgrown my then role in the public service. I took a leap of faith into the unknown of business and the rest is history. I wanted a challenge, a stretch and to test my skills in business as I have always had a curious mind. I just backed myself up and have done so every day since starting in 2018.
What are some challenges you have faced, and how have you overcome them?
Like many in business I experience self-doubt, overwhelm and a fear of failure. But thankfully, I’ve learned over the years that every business owner has experienced this and overcome these challenges and each of these challenges can and will be overcome. I remind myself that anyone can start a business, but not everyone will run and operate a profitable one. I am my own hype woman, and my positive self-talk is out of this world.
Do you have a vision for the future of your business?
To continue to grow with staff and the services we offer for more impact. Growth for us is not about having a big business; it is about having an impactful business that sets up organisations for better relationships with First Nations communities through education, empathy and experiences to present different insights, perspectives and new knowledge.
Do you have any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Recognise failure is inevitable, but so is success. Understand that you will learn more from your losses than from your wins in business. Remember the problem you are facing right now; someone already did and has overcome it, so seek out mentors. And finally, don’t take advice from people who aren’t where you want to be.