MBDA Awards More Than $3M to Support Tribal Business Communities

New Mexico Community Capital (NMCC) operates the Native Entrepreneur in Residence (NEIR) program, which supports and empowers Native entrepreneurs and business owners through leadership and technical skills training. The NEIR Accelerator Program receives anchor funding from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Most recently, NMCC received $300,000 from the MBDA for its NEIR program.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) recently awarded more than $3 million to support programs for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian-owned enterprises.

Among the grant recipients are organizations such as the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, which will support a cohort of Native professionals interested in developing STEM-related businesses in California, and New Mexico Community Capital, which runs the Native Entrepreneur in Residence (NEIR) business accelerator.

Related: U.S. MBDA InVision Tour to Empower Minority Innovators to Turn Ideas Into Inventions for Commercial Success

‘Native Entrepreneur in Residence’ Cultivates an Ecosystem of Thriving, Indigenous Business Owners

“The Minority Business Development Agency’s support to the American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian (including Pacific Islander American) communities is a key component of MBDA’s overall support for minority business development,” said MBDA National Director Henry Childs, II. “Throughout this process, we have worked closely with tribes to ensure economic growth in communities across the country.”

MBDA National Director Henry Childs, II

During Fiscal Year 2017, MBDA conducted six tribal consultations to better understand business and economic development needs in their communities. Consultation recommendations were incorporated including recognition of the indigenous Native Hawaiian population, expanding the geographic footprint, reducing programmatic and regulatory burdens, as well as increasing project flexibility and autonomy to address the most common business-related needs.

The grant recipients include:

  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society ($233,881) to support a cohort of Native professionals interested in developing STEM-related businesses in California.
  • ASIAN, Inc. ($300,000) to provide consultative and technical assistance services to start-up, existing, and growing Native American-owned businesses with focused services in access to capital, business coaching, and growth through incubators and accelerators.
  • Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement ($300,000) to launch business networking sessions with a focus on funding opportunities.
  • University of Alaska Anchorage ($300,000) to connect minority-owned businesses to resources that include capital, training, coaching, incubators, accelerators, and infrastructure focused public-private partnerships.
  • New Mexico Community Capital ($300,000) to implement a signature program, the “Native Entrepreneur in Residence” (NEIR) business accelerator.
  • Rural Community Assistance Corporation ($300,000) to provide technical assistance that addresses core economic development needs of American Indian tribes in Montana.
  • Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc. ($300,000) for consultation services related to capital access and Federal procurement coaching for capacity building.
  • National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development ($556,609) to deploy an online platform, “Native Edge”, to provide access to business information, training, counseling services, and business networking.
  • Kauffman & Associates, Inc. ($300,000) to implement a technology resource platform and incubator model for technical assistance in Federal contracting.
  • United Tribes Technical College ($300,000) to conduct a needs assessment of 18 Tribal Nations in the Great Plains, identify the top priorities, and assist with deploying economic development activities.

These programs are part of the 2018 MBDA Broad Agency Announcement, a new initiative this year. More than $13 million was awarded for 35 projects focused on Department of Commerce and MBDA priorities from resources that increase disaster preparedness and relief to programs that increase access to capital. For a full listing of MBDA’s 2018 grant awards, visit






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