DETROIT LAKES – Pamela Standing, Founder and Co-Chair of the Minnesota Indian Business Alliance, has been named the Minnesota Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Minority Small Business Champion award is presented annually in each state to individuals who assist small businesses through outstanding advocacy efforts on behalf of minority-owned small businesses. Courtney Aitken Gifford, Economic Development Director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, nominated Standing for this award.
As a native woman, Standing is constantly mindful of those who have and continue to mentor her and have taught her the importance of building strong relationships grounded in respect and trust. Through their guidance and influence, they have helped shape the way she has worked in tribal communities for the past twenty years. Standing considers it a privilege and honor to work with others to expand opportunities to native peoples.
In 2007, she started the Minnesota Indian Business Alliance (MNIBA) as a volunteer with no compensation. Prior to starting the MNIBA, she was the Executive Director the Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce where she actively promoted American Indian businesses, coordinated Business Builder meetings and developed the chapter newsletter to educate Minnesotans of the economic contributions of American Indians in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Indian Business Alliance is a statewide all-volunteer organizational collaborative working together to promote an economic environment that supports the sustainable development of American Indian businesses.
Since 2007, Standing has recruited over 130 organizational partners statewide, and advocates building relationships with long-term partners in order to achieve more sustainable mission impact through shared resources. Minnesota Indian Alliance partners are better informed and positioned to meet both the unique needs and barriers faced by American Indian entrepreneurs.
Standing’s dream for the tribal communities of Minnesota and Alliance partners is to establish a virtual and rotational business incubator that provides face-to-face contact for entrepreneurship development, access to business development training and tools, cooperative development, credit counseling, training and certification of community trainers, financial application and loan execution, mentorship, professional development, and financial and technical assistance resources that are culturally congruent and community driven.
While volunteering her time at the MNIBA, Standing works on her consulting business and tends to her two granddaughters. She is an entrepreneur herself creating gourmet baked goods. These delicious goodies are often her gifts given in appreciation to the volunteers and speakers at MNIBA functions.
Standing received her bachelor degree in education in 1973 and her master degree in international business in 1987. She serves on the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Social Change Grant Committee and on the Council of Trustees for the White Earth Tribal and Community College.
For more information:
Minnesota Indian Business Alliance
PO Box 1902
Detroit Lakes, MN 56502