American Indian entrepreneurs now have a number of resources available to help launch their business ideas thanks to a new center at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, made possible by a grant from U.S. Minority Business Development Agency.
The $260,000 grant is the first awarded to NMSU and Arrowhead Center by the MBDA, and has helped to create the American Indian Business Enterprise Center, which will expand Studio G, a business accelerator for students and recent alumni, to American Indian student entrepreneurs across New Mexico.
The AIBE Center allows participants to utilize Arrowhead Center’s resources including an advisory network of business experts, and offers training via online and in-person classes. The center also gives American Indian entrepreneurs workspaces for their start-up businesses, allowing them to find a foothold in their industry.
“As part of our strategic plan, NMSU is working to further amplify our extension and outreach efforts, especially in terms of economic development and entrepreneurship,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu. “Programs like this, and the results we are expecting, are tremendously important for our native populations and others across the state.”
Brooke Montgomery is the Studio G and AIBE deputy site director. Arrowhead Center already has a network of 14 sites throughout the state and in tribal nations to work with AIBE.
Locally, both the NMSU Indian Resources Development program and NMSU’s American Indian Program are already working with AIBE.
“The efforts of Ms. Brooke Montgomery and NMSU will enable NTU to establish the presence of Studio G to grow our own entrepreneurs,” said Ben Jones, director of Navajo Technical University.
Jones and Arvizu attended the ribbon cutting, which featured video statements from two U.S. senators from New Mexico.
“This is an incredible opportunity for New Mexico State University to expand its work across the state promoting economic growth for young Native Americans by partnering with universities and cultural centers across New Mexico,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Udall in a video message. “The business enterprise project will help make sure native communities can thrive for generations to come.”
In a separate video message, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich said, “I’m always impressed with the way that the Arrowhead Center provides entrepreneurs – students and adults alike – with access to training, capital and resources they need to succeed. I’m thrilled to see Arrowhead Center put this proven model to work for entrepreneurs in our state’s tribal communities.”
Arrowhead Center hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the center November 14.
For more information about the AIBE, contact Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org or 575-646-1859.
Author: Adriana M. Chavez – NMSU