Current Projects

Native Youth Business Plan Competition – 2021

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.

The 2021 event builds on the success of the 2020 Native Youth Business Plan Competition and is a collaboration among First Nations, American Indigenous Business Leaders, and The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED).

About the Competition

The Native Youth Business Plan Competition was designed to help Native students increase their knowledge and enhance their business, entrepreneurial, and academic skills to prepare them for business and entrepreneurship opportunities in the future.

The competition provides an educational experience for students by learning the process of creating and presenting a business plan. It also simulates the real-world experience of entrepreneurs seeking start-up funds. In addition, students in each category – high school and college or university – compete for cash prizes:

  • 1st place – $2,500
  • 2nd place – $1,250
  • 3rd place – $750

The competition is ideal for Native students who:

  • Have a passion to create positive change within their local native communities
  • Have started a business or have an idea to ​start a business
  • Are interesting in enhancing their ​conceptual, organizational, written and oral presentation skills
  • Wish to demonstrate their ability to ​clearly communicate an idea to a group of experts and peers

How it Works

To be eligible for the competition, applicants must be high school- or college-enrolled Native American students who are ideally interested in business development and entrepreneurship, or who are involved in high school or college business clubs.

Applicants will compete in teams in two divisions: high school and college/university. Each team will submit a business plan created through the efforts of all participating students. From there, semifinalist teams will be selected in mid-June to receive additional business mentorship and participate in the onstage competition July 19, 2021, at the joint AIBL and RES 2021 Conferences in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Selected semifinalists can register for the conferences at the AIBL website here. AIBL teams should select the AIBL Member attendee option. Non-AIBL teams should select the non-AIBL option unless they intend to start an AIBL Chapter.  For more information about starting an AIBL Chapter, email info@AIBL.org.

To help participants cover the costs of travel, $3,000 travel scholarships will be available to each of the 10 semifinalist teams.

Submit your Business Plan here!

All teams must submit their business plans and required attachments via First Nations online application system no later than June 1, 2021, at 5 pm Mountain Daylight Time.

NOTE ABOUT AGRICULTURE IDEAS: As part of the Business Plan Competition, The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development will be selecting a few Agriculture Business Plans to build a cohort at RES, and one agricultural winner will be awarded in addition to the other competition winners.

Key 2021 Dates

  • June 1: Applications and attachments due
  • Mid-June: Semifinalists will be selected and invited to an orientation/onboarding webinar
  • July 19: Finalist presentations at AIBL and RES 2021 Conferences

Key attachments

 Questions about the application process?

Contact Kendall Tallmadge, Senior Program Officer, at (303) 774-7836 or ktallmadge@firstnations.org

Native students: Take advantage of this opportunity — We’re looking forward to seeing your proposals!

Get more information and register for the Annual Business & Leadership Conference, held in partnership with RES 2021 here.