Notes from the Field: Indianpreneurship

by Jamie Folsom, National Director

ONABEN's Trainers in Training!
ONABEN’s Trainers in Training!

Our Native American Business Network (ONABEN) hosted their Indianpreneurship Training of the Trainers in Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago. I was so excited to attend and have the chance to meet business and economic development professionals from all over Indian Country.

There is nothing better than being in a room full of people who share your goals of helping others get jobs and create jobs in their communities, especially for Native people because we often live so far from one another. It was truly an event that brought to mind Sitting Bull’s words: “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”

ONABEN1TWP has adapted the 12-week Indianpreneurship curriculum for its week-long Green Business Development in Indian Country (GBDIC) training. We focus on renewable energy, sustainable housing and other applications of green technology that will benefit Native communities. The training helps with the nuts and bolts of budgeting and marketing for students who are considering starting their own businesses. They leave the week-long course with a foundation for creating a strong business plan. The Training of the Trainers gave me new ideas for GBDIC as part of our efforts to foster better business skills, particularly in the area of creating a solid financial foundation for starting a business.

Thank you ONABEN, and those who attended, for sharing your knowledge and skills. Whatever good we do for our people today, our children and grandchildren will be watching and passing on to their children, so we better get good things done!

To learn more about ONABEN please visit

Upcoming Training: Green Business Development for Native Americans

green-business-development-training (1)

This five-day course for aspiring “green” entrepreneurs from tribes throughout the country is based on the Indianpreneurship curriculum developed by ONABEN. It is designed to offer students the basic knowledge they need to tackle the challenges of starting a business, especially on reservations.

All students should leave the training with products including outlines for a business plan, start-up budget, and operating budget. These items are important in attracting any kind of investment in a new enterprise, and are required to apply for Trees, Water & People’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program’s Green Business Start-up Award.


Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge, South Dakota


July 6 – July 12, 2014


Scholarships are available to Native Americans who are interested in attending this training. To be eligible, you must have a business idea that is centered in sustainability, renewable energy, or other “green” business ideas.

To receive a scholarship, you must complete all application materials.

Application Checklist:

All items due June 13, 2014

For questions please email Jamie Folsom at or call 970-484-3678.