SBA Programs and Services for Native American Entrepreneurs

Since it was designated as National Native American Heritage Month more than 30 years ago, November has been a time to honor the rich culture and traditions of Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Each of these groups has made an indelible impact on our nation, and the small business space is no exception. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Native Americans own approximately 26,064 businesses nationwide, employ over 260,000 people, and account for $44.9 billion in annual revenue.

With the Native American population projected to grow by nearly 30% by 2060, the SBA wants to do its part in seeing those figures increase. Offered through the Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA), the following resources are designed to help Native American entrepreneurs kickstart their business journey — and keep the momentum going once they’re up and running.

Financing and Contracting

There is a wealth of SBA funding programs for Native American entrepreneurs looking to break into business ownership, and it all starts with SBA-guaranteed loans. By reducing lender risk, the SBA makes it easier for entrepreneurs to get the access to capital they need. Whether it’s a 7(a) loan, 504 loan, or microloan, the SBA has an option that is suited for you and your plans.

The SBA also offers contracting opportunities for experienced socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners through the 8(a) Business Development program. Those who achieve certification have access to the 5% of federal contracting dollars that the government aims to set aside for such businesses each year. Learn more about eligibility and get certified here.

If you are interested in selling your products and services to the government, there are opportunities for you through the System for Award Management ( Register at, then search to see if any federal agencies are looking for your product or services. You can also search the SubNet database for subcontracting opportunities.

Empowerment Workshops

Through ONAA, the SBA is able to forge partnerships that provide a variety of educational tools. Among them are empowerment workshops like RedWind and Sister Sky, Inc. These free workshops consist of culturally appropriate curricula that include webinars, real-time instruction, peer networking, and technical assistance- the types of which are dynamic to the individual’s need. The workshops are designed for Native-owned business as well as non-Native businesses partnering with Native individuals, tribes, or communities.

As always, the SBA’s Resource Partner network is also available to small business owners. That includes SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, and Community Navigators.

Visit and follow @nativeSBA on Twitter for more information on what the SBA is doing to help ensure that Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are achieving small business prosperity.

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