With your help, Trees, Water & People (TWP) will provide 4 scholarships to Native Americans to attend the first level of a 3-step business development program: a week-long entrepreneurship training. After completing this training, students move on to the Green Business Mentorship program, which culminates in a chance to compete for a Green Business Start-Up Award this fall.
Many Native American communities across the United States face high unemployment rates - some as high as 80% - and few business opportunities for individuals interested in starting their own company. The dream of having an independently owned business is the dream of creating a livelihood that will support their families and bring economic security to their tribes.
TWP will partner with Lakota entrepreneur Henry Red Cloud, owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises, and other experienced green business owners to guide and inspire Native American students as they learn to create a workable business plan, as well as start-up and operating budgets. Based on the "Indianpreneurship" curriculum developed by Our Native American Business and Enterprise Network (ONABEN), the 5-day course includes lodging, meals, hands-on training and a travel stipend.
By providing more than just job skills, we hope to increase employment, foster improved economic circumstances for Native Americans and their families living in Tribal communities, and encourage other Native individuals to consider starting businesses of their own.