NEI's are one-day, in-person training events that provide both established and aspiring businessowners critical business training. NEI's also connect participants to existing resources available in their region, to go along with one-on-one business counseling/coaching and matchmaking services. Access to the National Center’s unique N2N (Native to Native) business network will be made available to all attendees, as well as the National Center’s in-region procurement and technical assistance training. Federal program and procurement coaching, accessing capital via Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and navigating the SBA and Bureau of Indian affairs will also be featured prominently at the events.
Previous Native Edge Institutes have taken place across the U.S., including New Mexico, Washington, Nevada, Oklahoma, Alaska, Florida, North Carolina, New York, and Maine, with more scheduled in the coming months.
The Native Edge Institutes were inspired by the National Center’s Native Edge portal, which is the online ecosystem that gives users access to the Indian Country economy. The Native Edge allows users to find and post jobs, network with fellow users, and access much of the session material from the National Center’s programming. The Native Edge is also designed to be a tool for corporate supplier diversity officers to find and hire qualified Native-owned contractors and employees.