SBA Expands Efforts to Grow Native American Small Businesses
by Christopher James, SBA Official
- Created: March 6, 2013, 7:46 pm
- Updated: April 10, 2013, 9:55 am
The importance of privately owned businesses plays a significant role in economic development in our Native American communities. That is why SBA provides tools to encourage our Native American entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses that create jobs and grow economies. I am very excited to announce the Native American Communities Entrepreneurial Empowerment Outreach Training targeted to our American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiians communities.
SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs has organized the training to reach rural and reservation communities to encourage entrepreneurship, business development and job creation. Along with Redwind Consulting Resources and the Oregon Native American Business Enterprise Network (ONABEN), 23 two-day training sessions will be held this year across the U.S. (six workshops have already been held).
Future workshops will be held in Native American communities in Oklahoma, Washington, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, California, North Carolina, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Arizona, North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, and with organizations serving Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives.
The training curriculum, called Indianprenurship, has been created on the foundation of the combined experience of many instructors, students, and mentors. It will serve participants well as they create the “Indianpreneurship Experience”. This experience is based on a few fundamental business principles and a philosophy that has grown out of efforts of individuals who are committed to helping Native American entrepreneurs succeed in business.
SBA has designed the entrepreneurship training to grow Native-owned small businesses, and we will continue our efforts to increase the agency’s Native American outreach initiatives.
Last year, more than 160 participants received small business development training at eight training events that extended across five states, including Oklahoma, California, Texas, South Dakota and Washington. Nearly 150 hours of training and post technical assistance was provided to Native American communities.
I am equally excited that the 2013 Emerging Leaders initiative (known as e200) has also been announced. For the sixth consecutive year, SBA is looking for small businesses to partake in this highly successful Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative that provides the tools they need to sustain and grow their businesses, including 10 Native American communities. The Emerging Leaders initiative is an intensive training program for small companies that have the potential for quick growth and job creation.
Since 2008 the initiative has trained more than 1,300 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues to expand its impact helping small businesses grow and create jobs.
The seven-month executive leader curriculum includes almost 100 hours of classroom time for every small business participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities.
The 10 cities providing Emerging Leaders classes for Native American communities are Albuquerque, N.M.; Helena, Mont.; Farmington, N.M.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Milwaukee, Wis.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash.; and Tulsa, Okla.
Local recruitment for the 2013 training cycle is now underway at SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April. For a list of participating cities and to get more information about the Emerging Leaders initiative, go to www.sba.gov/emergingleaders or contact your local SBA District Office in that area.
More than 300 businesses have graduated from the program since it was expanded to Native American communities in 2010.
One such graduate is Michele Justice, the owner of Personnel Security Consultants Inc. (PSC), a Native-owned security firm in Albuquerque, N.M., which got its start in 2004. This 2012 Emerging 200 graduate now employs 18. The security firm acts as a liaison between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI, helping tribes obtain required fingerprint records for FBI criminal history searches. The firm also works with more than 280 tribes and tribal programs, casinos and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Justice was the SBA’s New Mexico State Small Business Winner of the Year in 2009.
At SBA, we’re working hard to increase and strengthen the number of successful Native-American owned businesses, and provide the tools they need to build strong businesses and create jobs.
Going forward in 2013, we will continue our focus to strengthen our education and training for Native American-owned businesses. And the Native American Communities Entrepreneurial Empowerment Outreach Training and the Emerging Leaders initiative will help us to do just that.
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