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Business Development for Native Americans

Entrepreneurship is one of the key business components of the U.S. economy, and the government takes steps to create opportunities for all demographics. Native American businesses fall into a number of categories, any of which can offer support and guidance to developing businesses in the form of an entrepreneurial network. Thanks to a variety of resources available through federal and tribal government resources, starting a business as a Native American is now more feasible than ever.

Establishing the Entrepreneurial Network

First and foremost, starting a business involves preparation, which includes research, planning, education and funding. Entrepreneurial networks are great resources, in that they can offer insight into the tools and resources involved in developing and launching a successful business. These networks are a combination of readily available resources and connections business owners make by contacting and learning from each other.

Understanding what is involved in creating a business is the first step. The Small Business Association (SBA) provides many resources for building a Native American Business, including access to the Office of Native American Affairs, step-by-step directions and tips and tricks on starting a business. These resources include a planning guide, a list of useful blogs on starting a business, and guides to understanding your target market.

The Importance of Business Plans

Learning how to develop, implement and execute a small business plan is vital. Aspiring entrepreneurs can learn these skills in both formal and informal environments. The Choctaw Business Development Center (CBDC) offers a “clear path for job creation, economic growth, diversification and sustainability of the Choctaw Nation” through education and support, fostering an environment that sustains partnerships and community.

Another, more formal way to learn entrepreneurship is by earning a Master of Business Administration in Native American Leadership, which offers students a full curriculum geared specifically toward managing and leading a Native American-run business. Classes include instruction on behavior management, analysis, bookkeeping and other contemporary business issues.

Funding Opportunities

There are many incentives available to businesses run by Native Americans. For example, the SBA and the Department of Defense (DoD) both offer various programs for Native Americans who have served in the military. Incentives range from monetary compensation to government contracting. The connections students make in an online MBA program can introduce even more incentive programs and how to take advantage of them to build successful businesses and business relationships.

Learn more about the Southeastern Oklahoma State University online MBA program.


U.S. Small Business Administration: Starting & Managing: Native Americans

U.S. Small Business Administration: Office of Native American Affairs

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