IDRSinc. began its microenterprise development program while spearheading a National Demonstration Project funded by the Ford, Hewlett and Packard Foundations entitled: “Restoring Forests, Building Tribal Economies.” Through this project, IDRS supported tribes who wanted to assist their members in creating small businesses emerging from natural resource restoration work in U.S. National Forests and reservation forests located on Native land.
This experience opened our eyes to two facts:
Tribal members were interested in starting all types of micro businesses in a myriad of industries
Tribal communities desperately needed and wanted to expand economic development efforts through the development and growth of private enterprise on their reservations
Since that time IDRS has partnered with tribes across the Western United States to develop programs and provide services which encourage and supports the development of private enterprise in Native communities. We provide direct entrepreneurial support to tribal members through our Acorn Project program and assist tribes who want to create microenterprise programs under their own administration.
IDRS offers a variety of small business classes designed to meet the specific needs of tribal entrepreneurs at all levels of business development. Through onsite training and webinars, we teach prospective and existing entrepreneurs the foundations of business planning and management. Training is typically delivered as ½ or full day sessions. More intensive courses such as business planning and financial literacy can be provided over two full days. Click Here to learn more about the individual workshops we teach. To view a current schedule of on-site and webinar training Visit the IDRS Acorn Project website.
Remote Technical Assistance
Through our technical assistance program, we help small business clients apply for loans, prepare for government contracting and provide guidance in all aspects of business ownership.
Personal counseling is provided via phone, email and live video-conferencing to Native entrepreneurs belonging to a Federally recognized tribe. Counseling services are also available to non-member spouses and children of the tribal member.
Entrepreneur Resource Center Development
IDRS provides assistance to help tribes looking to create sustainable economic development through the expansion of private enterprise. Through the IRC program, we work with tribes to create a business resource center under their own administration to provide education, technical assistance and other small business resources to tribal members . We provide the option of choosing between two business resource center models; a staffed resource center or un-staffed mini resource center.
1. Staffed Resource Center:
IDRS will actively support your tribe in creating a staffed business resource center within their your own administration by assisting with fundraising to support operations and providing technical assistance training to resource center staff.
2. Un-Staffed Mini Resource Center:
If your tribe is not ready to develop a staffed business resource center, IDRS will provide assistance to establish un-staffed mini-centers. These mini-centers will provide resources such as books and magazines relevant to small business creation and growth and can include a computer with business programs for the entrepreneurs to use during set hours.
IDRS works closely with you to select the best model for your community and will provide additional training, resources and consultation through IDRS and other small business technical assistance providers in the region.