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.
Based on our work with over 20 Native communities in less than 5 years, we have developed a first hand understanding of the important role agriculture plays among Native American people. We recognize food sovereignty as the right of people to healthy, culturally aligned food produced through ecologically sound methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. Food sovereignty initiatives empower tribal members to grow their own fresh produce, ease food insecurity, realize the additional benefits of healthy eating in the prevention of heart disease and Type II diabetes, and support their families by finding markets to sell their crops and livestock products.
To that end, NMCC has developed and is implementing agriculturally based programs — specifically addressing the financial and business side of farming to help support Native farmers’ passion for agriculture. Like all of our programs, our agriculture programs are a unique blend of peer-to-peer learning, the appropriate use of technology, and a respect for indigenous and community values woven into the fabric of each class.
With program funding coming from the Native American Agriculture Fund; the USDA; and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among others, our projects are always informed by listening sessions to make sure that what we do is aligned with the values and traditions of the communities we serve, with the goal that our work will help restore and strengthen a farm to table Native food system that embraces the principles of food sovereignty and addresses mission critical issues for success.
Our team includes staff members experienced in sustainable agriculture, as well as professional educators experienced in financial literacy and business basics, able to address issues of financial readiness, production improvement, marketing, sales, and distribution.
Training courses are presented in the Google Suite and co-facilitated by NMCC staff certified in Google Suite and Google Admin. NMCC was one of the first Native organizations in the country to be designated as an official “Grow With Google” partner. If face to face training continues to be risky or prohibited due to COVID-19, NMCC is already invested in the technology to support and conduct virtual training, teaching, and coaching.
The NMCC 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 will 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.
Our instructors will 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 supports your mission. After 8 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 ideas.
The Digital Media & Marketing 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 brand style guide, a personal SMART marketing plan, and a media pitch delivered to/critiqued by peers.
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