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NMSU Arrowhead Center’s American Indian Business Enterprise to offer business courses

Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University’s American Indian Business Enterprise is partnering with New Mexico Community Capital to host Financial Basic Business courses. The first course with eight AIBE-established clients will start Wednesday, Jan. 27. However, a call for applications for more courses will be coming later in the spring.


A woman and a man seated at a table holding new laptops
Fabby Espitia (left) and Joshua Archuleta receive new Chromebooks as part of the New Mexico Community Capital and American Indian Business Enterprise Financial Basic Business course. (Courtesy photo)

“The course is designed to build a solid foundation to form and grow business ideas with a personal financial plan for success,” Brooke Montgomery, AIBE director, said. “Through the course, AIBE clients will learn tools to effectively conceptualize, plan and implement their financial goals and business ideas through hands-on learning.”

NMCC developed and launched the FBB program in 2018 to assist Native American families in developing better business tools, address debt issues and support them as they learned how to apply these principles at home, in the community and in small locally-owned businesses. With a multi-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, NMCC has conducted three sessions of this program prior to 2020, all in New Mexico pueblos: Santa Clara, Laguna and Santa Ana.

“This course will be extremely beneficial,” Rachel Livingston, Diné and outreach coordinator of AIBE, said. “Native Americans are not new to entrepreneurship; we are only learning to adapt. This course will help us do just that and will assist in building a solid foundation. It’s great to be working alongside the many organizations to make this happen and being able to provide this opportunity to my own people is ever more rewarding.”

Participants will be provided a $1,200 award for participating in the 15- hour FBB course along with a startup toolkit with a Chromebook.

“The first class for AIBE clients were for those we thought would have the biggest impact or immediate gain from their participation in the FBB class,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery said upcoming courses could call for specific businesses to tailor the course to a niche group of native-owned businesses.

The courses came from the collaboration with New Mexico State University’s Indian Resources Development, which introduced AIBE to NMCC and enabled the partnership to share and grow their combined resources.

“IRD specializes in identifying, and connecting, programs that can support Native Americans in New Mexico to develop their own technical and managerial expertise in areas of agriculture, natural resources, engineering and business,” Montgomery said. “The partnership that we have formed with IRD has allowed us to create synergies across the state and resulting in collaborative methods to enhance delivery of resources to native-owned businesses.”

NMCC expressed a shared view on the benefits of working together. "We are honored to help strengthen native entrepreneurs by enhancing digital and financial literacy skills through peer mentorship, subject matter experts and tools that help grow businesses and change lives,” said Jake Forman, New Mexico Community Capital representative. “We are grateful for this collaboration with NMSU’s AIBE because when we are stronger as a community, we all grow."

To learn more about AIBE, and to sign up for their mailing to know when the applications start for the next classes, go to: https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/program/aibe/.