Apply Now for the Native Youth Business Plan Competition
You may have heard: For the second year, the Native Youth Business Plan Competition is making it possible for Native youth to develop skills, cultivate new ideas, and connect with Native leaders for support in turning those ideas into businesses.
Now, there is even more good news about this innovative competition to help Native high school and college students prepare for opportunities in the future. Read on!
More Important News!
Extended deadline: For the event, applicants compete in teams in two divisions (high school and college/university), and each team submits a business plan created through the efforts of all participating students. Now the application deadline is extended to June 1, 2021. Find all the details on how to apply online here.
Travel scholarships. Semifinalist teams will be selected to receive additional business mentoring and to participate in the onstage competition July 19, 2021, at the joint AIBL and RES 2021 Conferences in Las Vegas, Nevada.
To help participants cover the costs of travel, First Nations is offering $3,000 travel scholarships to each of the 10 semifinalist teams.
Cash prizes. In addition to gaining skills in business development and giving presentations, participants also have the opportunity to win cash awards in each division:
- 1st place – $2,500
- 2nd place – $1,250
- 3rd place – $750
A great experience. Finally, beyond this good news, participating in the Native Youth Business Plan Competition delivers value beyond dollars. Following are insights from a few participants of the 2020 event:
Prairie Blount, advisor for the winning high school team, said, “It gave the students exposure to the larger Indigenous world. They were amazed that there are so many Indigenous professionals in business. As a student, you’re consumed with your campus. But this gave them an opportunity to step outside and see that we’re all working toward bettering our communities. Others are coming along and paving the way.”
Nate Lee, Vice President of Native American Financial Services for BOK Financial who served as a mentor for the high school team Lumbee Nation Youth Enterprise, said that the value of the experience was enormous. “For the students it was a powerful and rewarding experience to compete on a national stage and also to interact with Native professionals in finance and economics.”
The students agreed:
Josh Bushman, from the Fort Peck Sioux Tribe, said he would 100% recommend the program to his friends. His teammate Antone Manning added that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a unique environment, and that winning was a validation of all his team’s hard work.
Kristall Vega (Cloverdale Pomo), who was on the college first place team, California Indian Museum with their product Acorn Energy Bites, said she loved seeing all the Native youth present on projects they are passionate about to better their communities. “I believe there is a lot of value in experiences like this one because it gives a platform for Native youth to share their voices,” she said.
The 2021 Native Youth Business Plan is a collaboration among First Nations, American Indigenous Business Leaders, and The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED).
Take advantage of the deadline extension and start your applications! We look forward to hearing your ideas! Learn more and apply here! To learn more about the live competition at RES 2021, visit AIBL.
NOTE: Does your business plan involve food systems? NCAIED will be selecting a few Agriculture Business Plans to build a cohort at RES 2021 and one agricultural winner will be awarded in addition to the other competition winners.