What We Do
New Mexico Community Capital’s Native Entrepreneur in Residence Program (NEIR) was formalized in 2014 as a result of earlier work done by the NMCC Investment Fund. Today, NEIR is NMCC’s flagship non-profit program. It has become the platform for a portfolio of program offerings providing the tools for success to emerging Native American businesses, bringing financial literacy, business skills and a vibrant network to Native American business owners and their communities.
The Native Entrepreneur In Residence (NEIR) program provides a culturally appropriate, supportive place for Native American entrepreneurs to gain confidence, grow, and become successful. To date, the NEIR accelerator has served 46 participants from over 28 tribes and pueblos. Success is measured with standard economic development indicators used by government and private sector entities. Since launching in 2014, the NEIR accelerator has demonstrated significant impact:
The Entrepreneur Challenge
Every entrepreneur is different and comes with their own strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. Because of this, each NEIR participant goes through a program that is custom tailored to their specific needs – an intensive six-month one-to-one training with an experienced entrepreneur/mentor to lay the foundation for successful business growth.
Only NEIR provides such a high touch, custom approach to the development of business skills, problem solving, support and engagement.
The NEIR Program develops, finances, and houses innovative businesses and startups owned by Native American entrepreneurs to:
- Increase the number of new Native American owned start-ups in the community
- Grow existing Native American owned businesses, increasing revenue and jobs
- Increase the overall economic impact of business in the community
- Engage existing community networks and create new entrepreneurial resources
- Create a national network of Native American entrepreneurs with common goals, and shared solutions
Participants are either current business owners or entrepreneurs pursuing a new business venture. Each NEIR participant receives a monthly stipend, intended as support in starting or growing a new business. We also provide dedicated offices, shared meeting and event spaces, and basic IT instruction as needed.
NEIR graduates are invited to join the peer-to-peer advisory group, called the Community of Practice, for quarterly meetings and for more informal gatherings. These meetings are available to all local participants and can be available in virtual form for out of town participants and recorded for future viewing. We’ll hear other participants’ business pitches, work together on business challenges or case studies, provide support and understanding to each other, and continue to grow a network of vibrant Native American entrepreneurs.
Who We Serve
The NEIR program is designed specifically for Native American entrepreneurs throughout the United States. You must be registered with a federally recognized nation, tribe or pueblo in order to qualify for the program. The program is designed along 3 tracks for businesses in different stages:
- Pre-venture or “dream” stage
- Early stage and start up
- Established businesses in a growth stage
Candidates with businesses in any of these 3 stages are encouraged to apply.
NEIR has experienced mentors who have worked in a wide variety of business segments and categories, so we are able to tailor learning to meet your needs, whether it is high-tech, online or brick & mortar retail, healthcare, agriculture/environmental, education, the arts, tourism, and more.
While industry knowledge is important, the skills unique to successful entrepreneurship are critical. That is what NEIR provides.