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.
New Mexico Community Capital, in partnership with Native Women Lead, is an awardee of the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge. Our initiative, The Future is Indigenous Women, was awarded $10MM to support a bold collaborative to expand women’s power and influence in the U.S. by 2030. Hosted by Pivotal Ventures, with support from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and managed by Lever for Change, the Challenge highlights the groundswell of energy and activism around the gender equality movement.
We’ll be launching a site specifically focused on this work but in the meantime, please see a joint statement from NMCC and NWL regarding a call-in we received regarding the usage of the word “womxn” in our Equality Can’t Wait work.
We have taken some time to reflect and activate our resources to address this and we thank the @TGRCNM for providing us the guidance and tools to be educated allies, effective advocates and better relatives to our LGBTQIA2S+ community members.
Statement From Native Women Lead & New Mexico Community Capital
Native Women Lead (NWL) and New Mexico Community Capital (NMCC) were recently called in for the use of the term “womxn” in our proposal for the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge. Usage of this word was done with the intention to include our trans relatives and simultaneously stand against current and historical patriarchal systems of oppression that women face. While our intention was one of inclusion, we now understand that our organizations unknowingly utilized language that has been weaponized in distinguishing trans women from cis-women.In this learning, NWL and NMCC have taken some time to reflect internally and connect with the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexco for guidance, education, training and assistance as we develop our organizational policies and practices. We are dedicated to becoming better allies in the fight against all forms of hate, discrimination and oppression. Our goal is to ensure we maintain inclusivity of our LGBTQIA2S+ relatives in our commitment to increasing representation of trans, queer and gender non-conforming individuals in our work. In full transparency, we will share these plans with our community and networks in our goal to co-create a truly inclusive space for our Indigenous relatives’ entrepreneurial and business journeys.We will update this language moving forward and add disclaimer footnotes to social media posts. It is important to share that as we revert back to the usage of “women” we want to be clear that our definition of women is inclusive of all women identifying relatives which include cis-women, trans-women, non-binary, two spirit and gender fluid relatives. We appreciate our community who have guided and supported us as we develop plans for our organizations to further live out our community agreements in co-creating an evermore inclusive space for Indigenous relatives striving to build businesses.These Community Working agreements were always meant to be a living pledge of NWL’s work and approach: