PayPal has teamed up with Australia’s first Indigenous-led not-for-profit marketplace, Welcome to Country, which showcases businesses that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Welcome to Country first launched in 2019 as an online platform for Indigenous experience providers across tours, day treks, scenic flights, bush food, festivals, art and cultural experiences. When Covid-19 hit, the team reinvented the not-for-profit to include a digital marketplace to purchase Indigenous products online.

“Many of the experiences we showcase give tourists the opportunity to buy Indigenous products to take home, so we decided to help bring the products to the customers,” Welcome to Country CEO, Jason Eades said.

The Welcome to Country store now offers more than one thousand products from hundreds of businesses across homewares, fashion, art, books, beauty, giftware and more, alongside tours and experiences.

The success of the shop has exceeded expectations with every purchase directly benefitting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities, according to Eades.

“We source items from artists, art centres and manufacturers that have license agreements with artists and pay fair royalties,” he said.

“We are excited to be working with PayPal as they have been a significant part of our success so far. As soon as we added PayPal as a payment option, we experienced a 23% month-on-month sales increase and today 46% of sales are from customers who choose to pay with PayPal.”

PayPal has launched the Welcome to Country social media competition to coincide with the lead up to NAIDOC Week (4- 11 July 2021). Entrants are asked to share a photo celebrating Australia’s Indigenous heritage and capturing what the 2021 theme ‘Heal Country’ means to them on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to win $500.

Entries can include a shot from a bushwalk, a native plant or flower, authentic Indigenous art or design, an item purchased from Welcome to Country marketplace or photos of your NAIDOC Week celebration. Entrants must follow and tag @WelcomeToCountryAU, @PayPalAU and #HealCountry with each entry.

Three winners will be announced each week for four weeks until the competition closes at 11.59PM AEST on Tuesday, 13 July.