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Portal to Provide Training, Education For American Indian Entrepreneurs

The National Center for American Indian Economic Development launched an interactive web portal for Native American business training and education.

The National Center for American Indian Economic Development plans to launch an interactive web portal for Native American business training and education. The expected launch date is October 2014.

The Mesa, Arizona-based nonprofit group launched the National Center Edge for Businesses September 1.

National Center Edge “consists of a collection of tools and resources for expanding Native American business,” according to its website. 

Membership in it will offer access to other American Indian business people, and to new articles, training and business development content weekly. The website also says it will offer members easy access through multiple devices and access to the latest Native business news and trends.

The Center’s pre-launch sneak preview included about 16 videos from NCAIED’s RES (Reservation Economic Summit) meetings. These include videos of prominent Indian figures like John Echohawk, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund. Some of the videos are viewable at the parent company's website, inside the "media" section.

Other features include a membership directory giving access to hundreds of Native business leaders, including private messaging capacity and extensive personal profiles, the group says. Custom company profiles will also be provided.

Gary Davis, president of NCAIED, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, said in a blog he wrote for The Hill.com, “The National Center Edge initiative will provide 24/7 online access and training to Indian country across the fields of entrepreneurship, small business, emerging markets, business development, and much more.

“The National Center and its programs and services seek to alleviate a very real challenge among our people. Native American poverty rates far outpace the national average, exceeding 60 percent in some areas. High poverty leads to myriad other issues that plague our communities. We believe that economic opportunity is the way out of poverty.”

NCAIED has been operating for over 45 years. Its mission is “to expand opportunity for American Indian enterprises and providing business development and training,” the group says.

The group’s next big show will be RES Wisconsin, to be held October 6-9 in the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee. Its most recent RES show was in Washington, D.C. during June.

NCAIED is also known for its "Native American 40 Under 40" awards. The awards recognize 40 American Indians between 18 and 39 "who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions in business and/or in their community."

The awards will be presented at the annual Indian Progress in Business Awards (INPRO), the Native American recognition event, on October 8 during RES Wisconsin.