UNM Rainforest Innovations

On June 22, the New Mexico Rainforest EDA University Center hosted its June seminar on “Tapping into Native Business Resilience Moving Forward.”

This webinar discussion was led by entrepreneur and UNM-Gallup University Center Mentor Vanessa Roanhorse, from Roanhorse Consulting. Vanessa was joined by Liz Gamboa and Jake Foreman from New Mexico Community Capital to discuss various ways in which Native American communities have overcome adversity throughout the years and how despite the many challenges faced, continue to persevere in business development.

The dialogue in the webinar discussed various cultural and systemic challenges Native Americans face in the current free market system and presented the various programs and resources available in New Mexico to help support and educate Native American entrepreneurs. The list of programs includes the Native Entrepreneur in Residence program (NEIR) and the Financial Business Basics program. These programs use cultural tools and programming approaches to teach business and financial literacy through a cultural lens that promotes the importance of strategically sharing ideas with other people from other backgrounds and cultures. This program has reached over 70 families and is only one of the many available resources available to Native Entrepreneurs that provide business training while honoring the four core values of the Indigenous business community – people, planet, profit and prayer.

Vanessa, Liz and Jake plan to continue building the Indigenous business community by expanding and connecting Native business owners to support programs, mentorship, learning and capital.

In her closing remarks, Vanessa emphasized the importance of creating community. She said, “I think each of us can share individual stories about how we needed a community in order to be successful.”

Visit https://youtu.be/rL6MQG252O0 to view the full recording of this important and timely discussion.

Resources available to Native Entrepreneurs:

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