Economic Summit to Showcase Opportunities


Many opportunities await tribal businesses, governments, organizations and Native entrepreneurs, but it’s a matter of finding the right tools or support to get started, or finding ways for coordination and collaboration to get to the next step, say organizers of one of the largest Native American business conferences in the Southwest.

The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico (AICCNM) has been hosting the annual Native American Economic Summit for a decade now as a way to showcase economic development and entrepreneurial ventures both on and off Native lands, as well as tribal political issues. The AICCNM is a nonprofit made up of more than 425 professionals, tribal entities, governments, small businesses, organizations, artisans and individuals. The chamber continually works to promote the development of a healthy, self-sufficient American Indian economy, both on and off the reservation.

“We want to help tribes, business owners and Native youth identify resources that they may not realize are there,” said Russell F. Pedro, AICCNM Business Specialist.

For the 10th Annual Native American Economic Summit slated May 9-11 at the Hotel Albuquerque, the AICCNM plans to host the inaugural procurement matchmaking event and a State of Indian Nations. The new government procurement matchmaking event will have buyers ready to engage in contracting opportunities with New Mexico and regional companies. Contract-ready companies will be pre-screened and paired with suitable government representatives.

In addition to the procurement matchmaking event, summit topics include the New Mexico Tribal Infrastructure Fund and the Native American Venture Accelerated Fund, grants created by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) and the Regional Development Corporation designed to help the recipients create jobs, increase their revenue base and help diversify the area economy.

Recognizing the importance of developing and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit, the chamber will also host its 3rd Annual Youth ‘Impact’ Initiative, which is held in collaboration with the summit to bring youth and professionals together to provide mentorship, learning and networking opportunities. Teams of Native American high school and college students will also compete in the annual Shark Tank Challenge, a business/service plan competition modeled after the popular TV show Shark Tank where entrepreneurs make pitches to self-made billionaires to gain investment dollars. Youth teams can take home prizes between $500 and $1,000 of seed money to further develop their business ideas.

The summit will kick off with a fundraising golf tournament at the Sandia Pueblo Golf Course. All proceeds from the tournament will go toward the Native American Community Academy.

Registration for small businesses, tribal governments or corporations is between $250 and $325. Day passes, tickets for the New Mexico Small Business Week Awards luncheon and trade booth space are also available. A day pass is $150, luncheon tickets are $40 each, and trade booth spaces cost between $350 and $450.


To register, or for more information about the 10th Annual Native American Economic Summit or the 2016 New Mexico Small Business Week Awards Celebration Luncheon, go to

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