Idaho Native American Women Business Alliance formed
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Idaho Native American Women Business Alliance has been formed between the Idaho Hispanic Foundation, the Idaho Women’s Business Center and several of Idaho’s Native Tribes. The purpose of the alliance is for the Idaho Women’s Business Center to foster relationships with Idaho Native American Tribes and help engage, educate and empower Native American Women to start and grow their own businesses.
“Today the future of women entrepreneurship gets brighter, as the dedication and purposeful goals create an environment that includes diverse inclusivity. Our partnership with the tribes is solidified in our commitment to serve those who are underserved and in rural areas,” said Idaho Hispanic Foundation Chairman Ivan Castillo in a press release.
In 2020, the Idaho Women’s Business Center and the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Science collaborated to conduct focus groups among Nez Perce and Coeur d’Alene Tribe members to learn more about the obstacles women face when launching and growing a business. It was found via the data collected that finances are a noteworthy barrier for those Native American businesswomen. As a result, the Idaho Women’s Business Center created a North Idaho office where Associate Director Tatiana Morales developed a mini-series for Native American Women which discusses four primary topics: Business Planning, Payment Processing, E-commerce/Marketing and Accounting.
“I greatly appreciate the time and energy that’s gone into this collaboration and look forward to the great things that will come from the Alliance.,” said Morales. “Thank you to the members of the Nez Perce, CDA and Shoshone-Bannock tribes for the warm welcome and strong desire to see their communities flourish-this is only the beginning.”
Kickoff events are being hosted by different tribes with the next event set to be held at the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe reservation. The hope is to additionally offer a virtual hybrid model, so attendees across Idaho can participate.
The Idaho Women’s Business Center said everyone can support these businesses.
“We continue to support our Native American brothers and sisters in business,” said Morales. “We have Thanksgiving that’s coming back and Indigenous People’s Day that’s coming back and so I think that just keeping that in mind as the holidays are coming up, consider some of these small businesses.”
A private Facebook group named Idaho Native American Women Business Alliance has been created. Native American women are encouraged to join in order to promote their business, products and services, as well as, network with other Native American businesswomen.
The Idaho Women’s Business Center is hosted by the Idaho Hispanic Foundation 501c3 and “Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.”
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