In late 2017, NMCC kicked off Financial Business Basics which originated to assist Native American families. Since that time, we have supported over 100 Native families and individuals through our program.
Our FBB program is designed to build a solid foundation to form and grow business ideas with a personal financial plan for success. Participants learn tools to effectively conceptualize, plan and implement their financial goals and business ideas through hands-on learning experiences with a community of peers and mentors.
Our instructors share foundational financial and business concepts including creating a house budget and saving goals, methods to eliminate debt, developing a “pitch deck” to promote a business or service idea, cash flow projections, and marketing your mission. After 15 hours of engaging course work with hands-on assignments, the cohort will celebrate their completion with a community of entrepreneurs and mentors. They also will have an opportunity to present their business and get feedback to refine their idea.
The Financial and Business Basics training modules feature work products that participants will either complete during the workshop or complete with individual assistance from a Native mentor. These work products include a household budget, a personal debt/savings plan, and a business pitch delivered to/critiqued by peers.
Our work began in 2018 on a Pueblo in New Mexico and has continued in Western and Central New Mexico in 2019. In 2020, we needed to switch gears due to the pandemic and have successfully held smaller, virtual cohorts to address real-time needs in New Mexico and for tribal communities in Michigan. If you are interested in hosting NMCC for this work in the future, please send an email to our Program Manager, Henry Jake Foreman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our newest program is the result of the urgent need witnessed among Native entrepreneurs during this time of COVID-19. Many Native entrepreneurs have struggled, trying to get their business online after spending their whole lives at in-person shows, powwows, and events.
The Digital Media & Marketing Basics program is designed to build a solid foundation to grow digital media skills and build a personal marketing plan for success. Participants learn the tools to effectively conceptualize, plan and implement their marketing goals and media ideas through hands-on learning experiences with a community of peers and mentors.
Instructors share foundational media and marketing concepts including communicating your brand to ideal customers, growing your online presence, building your SMART marketing strategy, and designing media that represents your unique selling proposition or product. As part of the program, participants are outfitted with tools needed to elevate their online game, including a Chromebook, Canva, and a domain and site registration. This program is incredibly effective at reaching Native small businesses that need to get online due to this new environment by combining real tools, mentorship, foundational digital literacy instruction, and peer support.
Studies have shown that small business owners and entrepreneurs are more successful when they are in a well-supported and supportive network. We actively support our participants through a facilitated network.
This Community of Practice Network, for all graduates and current participants of the Native Entrepreneur in Residence (NEIR) program and the Financial & Business Basics (FBB) program, provides regular networking, needs assessments, and gatherings that help to foster sharing of best business practices and deepen relationships. Our gatherings and events are a forum for the exchange of ideas, information, and ongoing business leadership development. Facilitators of the Community of Practice are both NEIR program leaders – one a graduate and the other a mentor in the program – who are seasoned facilitators and design engaging events and gatherings based on input from participants to best serve the Network.
Over the past 20 years, the number of Native women-owned businesses has increased by 201% compared to 114% of women overall in the U.S.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Native Entrepreneur in Residence (NEIR) mentorship program is that 60% of the businesses NMCC works with has been founded by women.
In 2018, a group of 6 graduates of NEIR formed Native Women Lead, an organization dedicated to empowering the futures of Indigenous women. Native Women Lead has already held two sold out Native Women’s Business Summits, and their programming has continued virtually throughout 2020. New Mexico Community Capital is proud to be a supporter and fiscal sponsor for Native Women Lead.
For more information about the Native Women’s Business Summit and Native Women Lead, go to https://www.nativewomenlead.org