The Wisconsin Indigenous Economic Development Corporation (WIEDC) has compiled this ever-growing list of resources to support Native small business owners in Wisconsin.
Indigenous Business Group
The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) offers economic development resources including:
Indigenous Business Group
The Indigenous Business Group (IBG) is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for native-owned businesses to access resources, network, and gain knowledge to help them thrive.
Indigenous Business Conference
October 9 - 11, 2023
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino | Milwaukee, WI
Indigenous Biz Con provides an opportunity for attendees to learn, network, and collaborate to build meaningful partnerships that result in business, all while breaking down barriers to economic development, building community and elevating the voices of Native entrepreneurs. The event features real business operators at the forefront, engaging discussions, a Natives vendors marketplace and much more.
Kiva connects U.S. Small Business Owners to 0% interest crowdfunded loans.
The GRID (Guiding Rural Innovation and Development) is dedicated to showcasing innovation and growing entrepreneurship in the Northwoods region of Wisconsin. The GRID region consists of eight underserved rural counties of North Central Wisconsin (Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marinette, Oconto, Oneida, and Vilas Counties) and includes three tribal communities (Forest County Potawatomi, Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the Sokaogon Chippewa Community).
Packers Mentor-Protégé Program
The Packers Mentor-Protégé Program pairs emerging Wisconsin businesses (protégés) with established, knowledgeable and committed companies (mentors) to help provide exposure, resources and guidance in order to reach the next level of business growth.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Stevens Point
As part of a statewide network, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Stevens Point offers no cost, confidential advising and resources as well as fee based workshops and conferences to both startup and existing businesses primarily serving nine counties - Adams, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Vilas, Waupaca and Wood.
Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI)
The Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI), a non-profit organization established in 1987, is an outgrowth of then Congressman Les Aspin’s efforts to help Wisconsin businesses win federal contracts, especially defense contracts.
WPI’s mission is to assist Wisconsin businesses in all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to create, develop and grow their Federal, State and Local Government sales, revenues, profits and jobs.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – Native American-Owned Businesses
The federal government provides opportunities in contracting, business development, and other programs for Native American small business owners.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) facilitates full access to business growth and expansion tools for small businesses owned by Native Americans. ONAA engages in tribal consultations, produces promotional materials, and participates in national economic development conferences.
American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians can use our local assistance tool to find nearby offices and resources. There, you can get counseling on whether our 8(a) Business Development Program is right for you.
SCORE offers free business advice, business training, and numerous templates and tools. Their volunteers are experienced entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and executives with a diverse set of industries and specialties who volunteer their experience and knowledge to help small business professionals start, develop, and grow businesses.
Minority Business Development Agency/National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. It invests in a national network of Business Centers (staffed with business experts to help companies secure capital, compete for contracts, identify partners and more), Specialty Centers (export, manufacturing and federal procurement centers) and grants for women of color, former incarcerated persons, American Indian Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian people and other members of the BIPOC community.
ACCION Opportunity Fund
The Accion Opportunity Fund connects thousands of entrepreneurs with affordable capital each year, but there’s a lot more to business success than just cash. That’s why they offer one-on-one, customized business advising with expert business coaches to small business owners across the country.
University of Arizona’s Native Nations Institute
The University of Arizona's Native Nations Institute offers a Native American Youth Entrepreneurship Program online. The Native American Youth Entrepreneurship Program (NAYEP) aims to foster skills to encourage private-sector development in Indian Country by teaching high-school youth the basics of economics, computer skills, strategies for success, and business-plan preparation.
American Indigenous Business Leaders Mentorship Program
Each year, the American Indigenous Business Leaders Mentorship Program welcomes 30-45 Indigenous college students to strengthen professional skillsets and personal resilience through training, mentoring, and network opportunities–empowering youth business leaders with the experience necessary to lead economic endeavors within their communities.
Acorn Project - Native American Entrepreneurial Assistance Program
The Acorn Project - Native American Entrepreneurial Assistance Program is meant to help Native Americans who own or want to own a business. Specializing in assisting Native entrepreneurs with all aspects of their business development, including technical training, business strategy, and more. Offering one-on-one counseling to assist you in overcoming the hurdles of beginning or expanding a business.
Arrowhead Incubator (AHIN) is a Native Non-Profit 501(c)(3) that was developed and created by a small group of forward and innovative thinking tribal entrepreneurs and business experts in 2019.
Located in Traverse City, AHIN is centered at the heart of Indian Country in Michigan and serves as one of few Native American focused economic and business incubators. Utilizing a proactive and synergetic approach, AHIN delivers economic and social expertise and networking. Working directly with Tribal and Non-Ttribal units of government, industry and organizations, AHIN's purpose is to provide economic and social assistance that educates, innovates, supports, and elevates Tribal communities.
Native EDGE Institutes
Native Edge Institutes (NEI) are one-day, in-person events that provide both established and aspiring business owners with critical business training. NEI connects participants to resources available in their region, along with one-on-one business counseling, coaching, and matchmaking services.