The “Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs” list serves to elevate awareness of the innovation, professionalism, competence and tenacity demonstrated by Native entrepreneurs across Indian Country. Native Business is rolling out profiles of these 50 Native entrepreneurs online, in no particular hierarchy, to document and memorialize their innovation and self-determination. The inaugural class of the Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs recognizes leaders across 13 business sectors, demonstrating the diversity of industries where Natives are making an impact. Among the entrepreneurs recognized in our Federal Contracting sector is Clara Pratt.
“My mother always told me that there’s no such thing as saying, ‘That’s not my job,’” says Clara Pratte, CEO of Strongbow Strategies, a multi-disciplinary firm that supports agencies and private companies in need of IT and cyber security support, GIS services, emergency management and even facilities support.
Pratte, Navajo, spent much of her post-university career working in the public sector before launching Strongbow in 2013. She has served as the national director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Native American Affairs, as chief of staff for Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, and as executive director of the Nation’s Washington, D.C., office.
Even after starting Strongbow, she worked nights and weekends to build her small company until 2016, when she brought in a minority partner to grow the firm.
One of Strongbow’s most unusual contracts involves Antarctica, Doritos tortilla chips and expensive, sensitive scientific equipment. “Strongbow supplies workforce augmentation for various needs,” says Pratte. “Our staffers are used to inspect cargo that will be loaded on barges to supply the National Science Foundation’s facilities in Antarctica.”