Arrowhead Center Launches American Indian Business Enterprise Center

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Adriana M. Chavez

LAS CRUCES — Native American entrepreneurs now have a number of resources to help them launch their business ideas thanks to a new center at the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University, made possible by a grant from the US Minority Business Development Agency.

The $260,000 grant is the first given to NMSU and the Arrowhead Center by the MBDA, and helped establish the American Indian Business Enterprise Center, which will expand Studio G, a business accelerator for students and alumni recently, to Indian American student entrepreneurs in New Mexico.

Arrowhead Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the center on November 14.

The AIBE Center enables participants to utilize Arrowhead Center resources, including an advisory network of business experts, and offers training through online and in-person courses. The center also provides Native American entrepreneurs with workspaces for their start-up businesses, allowing them to gain a foothold in their industry.

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“As part of our strategic plan, NMSU is working to further amplify our outreach and outreach efforts, particularly in terms of economic development and entrepreneurship,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu. “Programs like this, and the results we expect, are extremely important to our Indigenous peoples and others across the state.”

The Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University held a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 14 for the American Indian Business Enterprise Center, which will expand Studio G, an enterprise accelerator for students and alumni recent, to the Native American community.  From left to right are Lauren Goldstein, Arrowhead Center Director and General Manager Kathy Hansen, NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu and NMSU Indian Resource Development Director Claudia Trueblood.

Brooke Montgomery is the Deputy Site Director of Studio G and AIBE. Arrowhead Center already has a network of 14 sites across the state and in Tribal Nations to work with AIBE. At the local level, NMSU’s Indian Resource Development Program and NMSU’s American Indian Program are already working with AIBE.

“The efforts of Ms. Brooke Montgomery and NMSU will enable NTU to establish Studio G’s presence to develop our own entrepreneurs,” said Navajo Technical University Principal Ben Jones.

Jones and Arvizu attended the inauguration, which included video statements from two U.S. senators from New Mexico.

“This is an incredible opportunity for New Mexico State University to expand its work across the state to promote economic growth for young Native Americans by partnering with New Mexico universities and cultural centers. Mexico,” U.S. Senator Tom Udall said in a video message. “The business venture will help ensure that Indigenous communities can thrive for generations to come.

In a separate video message, US Senator Martin Heinrich said, “I am always impressed with how the Arrowhead Center provides entrepreneurs – students and adults – with access to the training, capital and resources they need to to succeed. I’m thrilled to see Arrowhead Center putting this proven model to work for entrepreneurs in our state’s tribal communities.

For more information about AIBE, contact Montgomery at [email protected] or 575-646-1859.

Adriana M. Chávez writes for New Mexico State University Marketing and Communications and can be reached at 575-646-1957, [email protected]

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