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Haskell Indian Nations University receives Tribal College Small Business Achievement Grant to Empower Native Entrepreneurs

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Haskell Indian Nations University, a Bureau of Indian Education-operated post-secondary institution in Lawrence, Kansas, is one of four Tribal colleges and universities awarded a Tribal College Small Business Achievement Grant by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The grant provides $250,000 per year for up to five years.

This grant will enable Haskell to create the Center of Entrepreneurial Indigenous Prosperity, a Small Business Resource Center located on the Haskell campus. The center’s mission is to positively impact local and Native entrepreneurs and foster economic growth in the community and beyond. The center will serve all of northeastern Kansas. It will offer vital support to potential new startups and existing businesses by finding and providing access to financial and entrepreneurial resources.

“Native entrepreneurship in Indian Country has long been a part of many Tribal communities’ economies, so the talent, ability, and striving for success in building a business is already there,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “This funding will enable Haskell to build a support system to grow Native entrepreneurship benefiting Tribal communities in Kansas and elsewhere.”

“This grant provides much-needed resources to entrepreneurs within northeast Kansas, especially in our rural reservation areas,” said Mackie Moore, dean of the Haskell College of Business. “It also will allow our students to work with new startups and existing businesses, using real-world applications of what they have learned in the classroom. We are excited to see how this will impact our local community, students, and all Tribal nations.”

“This grant will create new opportunities for the students and communities served by the university and expand the footprint of our mission,” said Haskell Indian Nations University President Frank Arpan, Ph.D. “The College of Business is making fantastic strides forward in its programming offerings and we are excited to see the college progress forward.”

Through this grant Haskell will be able to offer guidance and resources to help small businesses adapt and thrive in the digital age, from setting up online storefronts to implementing e-commerce solutions.

Haskell College of Business will also establish a business incubation program to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the necessary resources, mentorship, and guidance to turn their ideas into successful businesses.

Jessica Burghart, an instructor in the Haskell College of Business, will serve as the project director for the center. “My goal here at Haskell was always to create an environment where small businesses could be created and supported,” said Burghart. “I truly believe in Native entrepreneurs and their positive impact on Native communities.”

For information on this grant contact Mackie Moore at mmoore@haskell.edu or Jessica Burghart at jburghart@haskell.edu.

About Haskell Indian Nations University 

Haskell has an average enrollment of more than 700 students each semester with students representing 140 federally recognized Tribes from across the United States. Haskell awards associate and bachelor's degrees in a range of subjects, including social work, community health, communications, elementary teacher education, American Indian studies, business administration, and environmental science. Haskell also integrates American Indian and Alaska Native culture into its curricula. For more information, visit https://www.haskell.edu/

The Bureau of Indian Education implements federal Indian education programs and funds 183 elementary and secondary day and residential schools serving approximately 47,000 students. BIE oversees the operation of two post-secondary schools, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute and Haskell Indian Nations University. For more information, visit https://www.bie.edu/.

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