Boosting Native American Communities: SBA Expands Financial Assistance with Six New Grantees

US Small Business Administration (SBA) 

Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), recently announced the creation of the Tribal College Small Business Achievement (TCSBA) grant, a new pilot program to support Native American economic development. In addition to the four inaugural TCSBA grantees, the SBA is also announcing the awarding of two grants to entities serving Native American entrepreneurs through the agency’s Community Navigators initiative.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to empowering tribal communities and creating pathways to entrepreneurship and small business development in Indian Country to advance economic opportunity. By partnering with Tribal Colleges and Universities, SBA aims to provide Native American and Indigenous entrepreneurs with more tools and resources to help them start and grow their businesses, create local jobs, and deliver for our economy,” said Administrator Guzman.

The TCSBA Program serves to provide in-depth, substantive, outcome-oriented business services to both new and established Native American entrepreneurs, many of whom are socially and economically disadvantaged. Through financial assistance to Tribal Colleges and Universities as defined in the Higher Education Act HEA 316 (U.S.C. 1059c), the program seeks to empower student entrepreneurs and local small businesses to affect substantial economic impact in their communities, as measured by successful business start-ups, job creation and retention, and increased company revenues.

The new pilot partnership will help fund entrepreneurship opportunities through grants to tribal colleges and universities of up to $250,000 each annually for a maximum five-year period. This is the first partnership of its kind with Tribal Colleges and Universities to support both student entrepreneurs and existing businesses in the community.

The four new TCSBA grantees are:
  • Haskell Indian Nations University of Lawrence, KS
  • Nebraska Indian College of Macy, NE
  • Salish and Kootenai College of Pablo, MT
  • Institute of American Indian Art of Santa Fe, NM

The SBA is also announcing two new partners serving Native American entrepreneurs in the Great Plains and the Southwest. These awardees represent an expansion of existing grants administered by the SBA to help reach Native American entrepreneurs through the Community Navigators program.

The two new Community Navigators grantees are:
  • Black Hills Community Loan Fund
  • Indian Dispute Resolution Services, Inc.

The SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs leads federal government efforts to promote entrepreneurship among Native American communities and support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities. Competitive proposals will outline how the project will increase the capacity of Native American entrepreneurs to access capital, create new enterprises, increase business survivability, create jobs, access global markets, and do business with the federal government.

To learn more about assistance provided to Native American small businesses and SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs, please visit

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