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ONABEN to Invest in Entrepreneurs, Artisans, and Youth

ONABEN plans to utilize five recent grant awards totaling over $245,000 to continue program delivery with a strategic focus on small business owners, art entrepreneurs, and youth over the next year.

“We have experienced tremendous success with our capacity building programs for Native entrepreneurs, artists, and youth, and are glad to have the opportunity to continue to invest resources where they are most needed and useful,” says Veronica Hix, Executive Director of ONABEN.

Most notably, and as part of a larger multi-year initiative, ONABEN is adapting its nationally renowned Indianpreneurship® curriculum to pilot a comprehensive entrepreneurial and finance learning platform for Native youth. Approximately 10-15 youth of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon will participate in the pilot camp where they will successfully prepare for business by developing their personal financial capabilities, goal setting skills, and ability to navigate opportunities and challenges.

“Working with youth is one of the most rewarding things, and one of ONABEN’s most important strategies. We have to invest in our youth now. They are our opportunity for creating real change,” says Hix.

ONABEN will utilize the majority of funds to facilitate a peer mentoring program, deliver a series of four trainings, and provide over 200 hours of customized professional assistance to a cohort of 15 Native American business owners located in a multi-state area. Cohort participants will build their skills over a wide spectrum of business disciplines, such as marketing, strategic and operational planning, financial analysis, opportunity development, and contract management in order to grow their ventures and create employment opportunities.

“Our entrepreneurial exchange program is a transformational experience for the participants. By helping Native businesses become more successful, we are also strengthening Native economies,” comments Hix.

In addition, ONABEN will provide culturally appropriate training and assistance to 10 Native women artisans of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Those services will help participants grow their audience and build their entrepreneurial skills.

“Although the recent awards are a big accomplishment for ONABEN, what we are most excited about is continuing our work in Indian Country. And, that just wouldn’t be possible without the commitment from our funders,” says Hix.

ONABEN’s grant awards include:

  • $100,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 7J Grant Program
  • $71,713 from USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant Program
  • $50,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund
  • $20,000 from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund
  • $3,500 from KeyBank Foundation

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