WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced seven awardees of $700,000 in new grant funding for continued projects to promote the development, success, and long-term survival of Native American firms eligible for assistance under the SBA's 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program.
The SBA's 7(j) Program helps provide specialized management and technical assistance to underserved markets and small business owners who are socially and economically disadvantaged. The program emphasizes entrepreneurial education, counseling, and training resources to help these firms succeed in federal, state, and local government markets for goods and services, and also as subcontractors to government prime contractors.
In making the announcement, Assistant Administrator for SBA's Native American Affairs David Sanborn said: "We're excited to be able to help fund these organizations to engage with Native American entrepreneurs across the county and strengthen the SBA's support network to provide more boots on the ground in local communities. This fiscal year was a great success and made it possible to help continue the support of small business job creation and growth for Native small business owners."
These projects were initially funded for fiscal year 2016 and are being continued in fiscal year 2017, to help ensure the delivery of vital business development services, and management and technical assistance to Native American business communities across the country. Project funding for each of the seven $100,000 Native American Micro Enterprise Business Services grants is provided by the SBA's Office of Native American Affairs.
The SBA grant program announcement for the second round of funding also sought unique and innovative proposals to provide specialized training, executive education, and tools to promote business development of Native American small businesses. The continued funding will help to address some of the challenges Native American firms and other 7(j) eligible firms face, including teaming with other businesses; mastering the process of federal contracting; and reversing declines and re-energizing small businesses.
Functional areas of assistance regularly include strategic and operational planning and management; marketing, business development, and identification and capture of opportunities; accounting, bookkeeping, and financial analysis; contract management and compliance; information technology and systems development; and industry-specific requirements.
The selected awardees, who also received grant funding for fiscal year 2016, have demonstrated substantive experience dealing with issues relating to Native American small businesses and have also demonstrated they have the capacity to provide a variety of management and technical assistance services to micro enterprise small businesses. These service providers will continue to assist the SBA's Native American customers as they create jobs and develop economic opportunities to enhance the quality of life in their communities.
The following seven grant awardees, listed below, represent a range of diverse geographic tribal areas and industries. They will focus on helping to narrow the gap in business development services provided by the SBA to Native American firms. The awardees include:
The Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma Funding amount: $100,000 The Cherokee Nation Small Business Assistance Center will use the Native American Micro Enterprise Business Services award to expand its existing training programs with the following: Executive coaching for businesses in the areas of sales, marketing and product management; financial management coaching to enhance financial systems and identify necessary controls to reduce tax burdens; human resource coaching to best manage staff productivity and reduce liability exposure; contract coaching to learn the ins and outs of government contracting; legal coaching to answer questions regarding product development, and patents. The award will also be used to train and license SBAC staff in the Growthwheel program. This program provides a 360 degree perspective on a business resulting in a holistic coaching plan while highlighting areas of focus needed to maximize stabilization and growth.
Oregon Native American Business and Entrepreneurial Network (ONABEN), Portland, Oregon and Tulsa, Oklahoma Funding amount: $100,000 ONABEN's project, Bridge to Success – Peer Mentoring & Entrepreneurial Exchange Program will focus on building Native American microenterprise capacity throughout the States of Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. Targeted Native entrepreneurs will work together to grow in business, explore the importance of social entrepreneurship to build a stronger Native economy and overcome the challenges of small business through peer coaching/mentoring and entrepreneurial exchanges.
Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc. (REI Oklahoma), Durant, Oklahoma Funding amount: $100,000 Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc., through the Micro Enterprise Business program, will provide technical assistance to 7(j) firms to create, develop and expand their small businesses through the means of customized on-site and off-site trainings and webinar sessions. REI Oklahoma will work with Native American tribes to deliver a 14-course training module to tribal members and businesses. The training courses will include how to start a business, understanding taxes, marketing, human resources, government contracting, financial management and other topics made readily available to clients throughout the state of Oklahoma.
The Native American Development Corporation (NADC), North Billings, Montana Funding amount: $100,000 NADC will provide pre and post technical assistance to Native-owned small businesses in preparation for success in government contracting through the SBA's 8(a) procurement program and other federal and state programs. NADC will also promote business relationships with private sector companies through matchmaking activities associated with NADC conferences and workshops to enhance their ability to attract more commercial contracting opportunities. Strategic training will be provided throughout the pre and post nine-year 8(a) program participation utilizing NADC distance learning technology, such as webinars and curriculum developed and provided through NADC satellite centers and tribal colleges. Collaborations with other NADC programs, such as the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Community Development Financial Institution, and Department of Transportation will be essential to the resources to support the growth and success of the native businesses.
Hi'ilei Aloha LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii Funding amount: $100,000 Hi'ilei Aloha LLC is a nonprofit subentity of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs. It provides capacity building services, including training and technical assistance, to Native Hawaiian businesses and nonprofit organizations. SBA funding will be used to hold entrepreneurship classes for native businesses and provide assistance with branding, marketing and website design.
Central Plains Foundation, Inc. (GROW Nebraska), Holbrook, Nebraska Funding amount: $100,000 GROW Nebraska will work with partners Lakota Hope and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL) Extension to capitalize on the talents and interests of entrepreneurs on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and in the Whiteclay, Neb., area to create a group of entrepreneurs who work together and support each other as they build scalable small businesses that will generate a livable income for the business owner and his/her family, create jobs, and have a positive impact on Reservation residents. With this grant, GROW Nebraska, Lakota Hope and UNL Extension will create an innovative, entrepreneur-focused program that builds and supports a powerful business strategy for each participant involved in the program.
Indian Dispute Resolution Services, Inc. (IDRS, Inc.), Plymouth, California Funding amount: $100,000 IDRS, Inc., will use grant funds from the SBA's Native American Micro Enterprise Business Services program to provide training and technical assistance to tribal members in California, Nevada and Oregon. Training workshops will include business plan development, accounting and Quickbooks training, financial planning, negotiation and computer literacy. IDRS also has special initiatives to provide training and technical assistance to Native artists to allow them to better market their artwork and provide art as a sustainable business model; assist tribes to set-up self-help groups for entrepreneurs; and provide distance learning models for native entrepreneurs who cannot attend training. IDRS will also use SBA funds to strengthen Native entrepreneur data collection and to reach new tribes and tribal entrepreneurs.
To learn more about assistance provided to Native American small businesses and SBA's Office of Native American Affairs, please visit www.sba.gov/naa.