In 2016 the staff of One Fire conducted small business workshops for Native Americans that made a difference in the lives of 250 potential entrepreneurs and established business owners. During the four years since One Fire has been involved in the program, the workshops have helped realize the dreams of more than 1300 individuals living in 80 Native communities.
The two-day workshops provide aspiring entrepreneurs the knowledge and resources to successfully launch their small businesses as well as support emerging businesses with the tools to grow. The workshops offer comprehensive information on topics such as business planning, access to capital, basic bookkeeping, human resources, problem solving and marketing a small business.
Participants of the workshops gain more than just learning the fundamental principles of starting and growing a business, they shift their world view and broadened their perspectives to embrace success. Students change their attitudes about their financial situation from “What can I do?” to a more confident, “I can do.”
The One Fire staff supported the transformational experience of the training with “hands on” experiences such as role playing and business simulation exercises. They used peer reviews and applied models to potential business. They presented case studies and showed relevant graphics and videos.
A SBA Deputy District Director summered up his experience of the workshop by saying, “The two day workshop was one of the most useful and comprehensive I have ever experienced.”
The One Fire personal shaped these workshop to fill the unique need of native communities that face challenges unlike any other people in the United States. By identifying these communities and understanding their unique needs, One Fire helped bring a sense of hope where circumstances have led individuals to feel all is hopeless.
With this program staffed by One Fire, potential entrepreneurs and business owners throughout Indian country have not only received training to pursue their small business dreams, but have built a foundation for economic growth for Native American communities.