Founders of startups face many challenges: getting startup capital, building their network, and locating space for their company. But female Native American entrepreneurs have unique challenges. Historically, female Native American entrepreneurs have less access to capital. Because many of these entrepreneurs lived on tribal reservations, they couldn’t receive quality education on topics related to business. That’s why you’ll discover famous Native American women who started successful businesses despite all of the odds. Two women from the Navajo Nation started the Native American Business Incubator Network (NABIN) in 2012. It provided legal and business advice for members, as well as many other services that will help their businesses grow.
One reason for NABIN’s success in nearby indigenous communities is that they recognize the unique needs of female Native American business owners. One example involved their members’ income opportunities. NABIN’s founders saw that its members didn’t want to leave their families on their reservations to make more money. Instead, their members saw their decreased opportunities for income as a trade-off for staying close to their beloved community.
Native American Entrepreneurs
When it comes to helping their members become self-sufficient, NABIN has many success stories. One comes from Germaine Simonson. She opened a convenience store in rural Arizona. NABIN helped Simonson establish a brand for her business and even assisted her with creating a store logo. As a result of NABIN’s help, Simonson can now support herself and her family through her community convenience store. Lets go through some example of great female Native American entrepreneurs.
Teara Fraser is one of the famous Native American women to look up to when it comes to challenging what’s possible. She founded Iskwew Air, the very first Canadian airline founded by an indigenous woman. “Iskwew” translates as “woman” in Cree. Fraser and Iskwew Air aim to connect the Canadian indigenous communities and international locations to support travel to indigenous lands. The very first flight of Iskwew Air flew was on International Women’s Day 2019.
Amy Yeung, a member of the Navajo Nation, founded Orenda Tribe Studio. This company upcycles ancestral vintage clothing. Throughout her time running Orenda Tribe Studio, Yeung always sought to connect with her people. She also worked to uplift the Navajo people whenever she could. Yeung’s ancestral connection giver her daily inspiration for fabric choices and business guidelines.
Getting In Touch
Anna Soole, an indigenous teacher, coach, and consultant, serves as a mentor to indigenous youth. She sees firsthand how mentors in the indigenous community can become role models for young people who really need them. To see people in their tribe reaching their goals can act as the spark that inspires indigenous youth.
These days, indigenous women are earning more college degrees than ever. Indigenous women also turn into business owners at a faster clip than many other racial groups. Despite the barriers that many female Native American business owners face, they can often overcome them with help from their extended network.
Female Native American entrepreneurs might face some challenges. Women who need help with their business should consider getting assistance from Fusion CPA. Fusion CPA helps businesses with sound financial strategies and tax planning. If you think you could benefit from our services, contact our offices. We’ll discuss whether our services can help you and your business.
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