Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Small and emerging businesses generate wealth and provide a significant source of employment in many communities. In Tribal communities, these businesses are vital in supporting community and cultural identity. It is important for Tribal economic development strategies to dedicate resources to developing and promoting new business start-ups and establishing effective support systems so businesses can grow successfully. Below are tools and resources to help Tribal communities meet the needs of their entrepreneurs.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is the federal agency fully dedicated to small businesses and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise. Typically, the SBA does not award grants to assist small businesses but rather provides assistance through loans. The Office of Native American Affairs’ (ONAA) goal is to promote and support Native American entrepreneurs through outreach activities including Tribal consultations and participation in national economic development conferences. ONAA provides entrepreneurial empowerment workshops through contracted consultants RedWind and Sister Sky, Inc.
ONABEN designed a robust training curriculum that incorporates indigenous values and traditional entrepreneurship training. The Indianpreneurship® curriculum is based on principles and a philosophy that has grown out of efforts of people who are committed to helping Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people take advantage of the opportunities inherent in entrepreneurship.