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ONABEN Receives Z Smith Reynolds Foundation Award


Portland, Oregon – March 6, 2017 – With a $20,000 grant award from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, ONABEN, a national nonprofit organization, will deliver a series of trainings designed to build the entrepreneurial, workforce, and leadership skills of women tribal members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

“This new funding will enable ONABEN to continue investing in the Qualla Boundary to build a thriving economy. We are excited about our new partnership with Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and grateful for this opportunity,” says Veronica Hix, Executive Director of ONABEN. For the past three years ONABEN has been working with community partners in western North Carolina to implement a strategy that is helping Native American entrepreneurs build their business skills and become successful business owners.  

Over the course of the next year, ONABEN’s team will develop and implement a customized program comprised of culturally appropriate group trainings and individual assistance delivered through a variety of in-person and online platforms. The program will engage aspiring women entrepreneurs, as well as women seeking employment opportunities, and specifically focus in the areas of finance, business management and operations, workforce skills, and leadership. As a result of this work, aspiring female entrepreneurs and small business owners will gain the confidence and knowledge to either establish new businesses or grow existing businesses. In addition, participants will develop technical and interpersonal skills that enable them to excel in professional workplace settings.

“The steps we are taking now will have a ripple effect on the community, creating a larger positive impact on the economy. Ultimately, we will see expanded markets, new job creation, and an improved quality of life for residents in the Qualla Boundary,” says Hix.


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