Challenges of Native American Inventors in Startups and New Businesses
The challenges of starting and running a business on a reservation are numerous, from overcoming Navajo resistance to overcoming regulatory burdens. These issues are complicated by the lack of mentors, fear of non-Indian competition, and other factors that affect the success of new businesses. Listed below are some of the most common obstacles that Native American inventors face. Hopefully, the challenges described in this article will help you overcome them.
Navajo resistance to construction
During the 19th century, the U.S. Congress granted millions of acres of land to railroad companies – land that belonged to Indigenous nations and was not under congressional control. In the face of Indigenous resistance to the construction, the U.S. Army enlisted and enforced construction on Indigenous lands, destroying villages and killing tribal diplomatic leaders. In addition, the U.S. Army isolated children from their families and destroyed buffalo herds. This was the most significant challenge faced by Native American inventors in startup and new business.
The Navajo, Apache, and other Native American populations continue to face significant levels of exclusion and discrimination. In 2016, 26 percent of the population lived below the poverty line and had significantly worse health, educational, and employment outcomes. Moreover, the Trump administration has proposed sweeping cuts to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other public agencies. This will further exacerbate these problems.
Despite the many challenges faced by Native Americans, these nations have taken the lead in defending the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. In the United States, the Navajo participated in the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations. The project is expected to harm the health of tribal members, and the environment, threatening to deplete their lands and water supplies. These challenges have made it vital for the Native American inventors in startups and new businesses to advocate for these rights.
Regulatory burdens for Native American inventors in startups and new businesses should be reduced and streamlined. As a first step, Congress should direct OMB and the CBO to conduct third-party analyses of the costs and benefits of proposed regulations. These analyses should compare the proposed regulations to existing federal and state regulations, focusing on their impact on small and new businesses. Any new regulation that is found to have a greater cost than benefit should require Congressional approval.
Regulatory burdens for startups and new businesses are a major barrier to economic development and may even discourage the creation of new businesses. Moreover, the costs of compliance and enforcement of regulations can stifle an entrepreneur’s creativity, preventing them from developing new products and services. These costs are borne by startups, which do not have the resources to absorb these expenses. Moreover, the current regulatory environment is often so confusing that it can create economic distortions, entrenched interests, and powerful constituencies. In other words, it is like a hidden tax that is not reflected in the bottom line.
Lack of mentors
One of the most overlooked needs for Native American entrepreneurs is obtaining access to funding and mentoring. This can be difficult because equity investors prioritize companies with high growth potential. Native American entrepreneurs may have poor credit histories, low collateral, and geographic isolation from mainstream financial institutions. Without access to mentors, entrepreneurs may struggle to start their businesses. This article will address these needs and offer suggestions on how to overcome them.
In a recent study, the patent office acknowledged that Black inventors are underrepresented in the country, and that Hispanic and women do not have access to the patent system. Although the government has taken some steps to address this problem, progress has been slow. In March 2019, lawmakers introduced the IDEA Act, which would require the patent office to collect demographic data from applicants and make it public. But this bill has not yet seen any action.
Mentors can come from different walks of life, from Tribal council members to housing agencies. Some mentoring programs can even include elders from other tribes. Mentors from the community should include tips and strategies on how to reach out to native youth. Often, mentoring programs do not address community problems as a “one size fits all” model. However, they do provide valuable resources, tips, and strategies for success.
Fear of non-Indians
In an effort to make her case for a larger role for Native American inventors, Senator Elizabeth Warren has invoked DNA results. While this seems to be a reasonable defense, it ignores the real problems that face Native Americans. For one, they suffer from higher unemployment, poverty, and lower educational levels than whites. Additionally, their life expectancy is shorter. This makes them less attractive to investors.
A fundamental problem facing many Native Americans in securing funding for their businesses is their fear of non-Indian investors. This belief prevents them from pursuing their dream. In addition to the high cost of seeking investment, fear of non-Indians has negative effects on many Native American inventors. Native inventors need to overcome this obstacle to succeed. They need to be open about their background and experience.
Despite the fact that the DNA industry has spurred anti-Indian attacks, Native American inventors still face barriers to gaining funding. The DNA industry has tried to detract from the rich history of US-Native relations, reducing Native Americans to genetic variations. And they ignore the important issues of land and sovereignty, including compensation for past harms. This is a mistaken perception, and it prevents many new ideas and startups from emerging from Native American communities.
Another problem is that Native Americans are stereotyped as barbaric, with scalping knives and tomahawks. This stigma is not limited to Native Americans, and it applies to all ethnic groups. The stereotypes are also ingrained in our culture, and the perceptions of them often reshape the way we think about American Indians. The stereotypes about Native Americans are deeply rooted and pervasive throughout the United States.
Lack of entrepreneurial peers
Although the lack of mentors and seed money can be a deterrent to many entrepreneurs, there is hope for Native American entrepreneurs. Some have built thriving companies without outside support, and others have overcome discrimination by using their ingenuity and hard work to succeed. Several recent successes from Native Americans illustrate how the lack of entrepreneurial peers can hamper success. Read on for some tips to succeed in the startup industry.
While gaming is perhaps the most recognizable tribal business of our modern age, our indigenous entrepreneurs are developing a wide range of businesses, from telecommunications companies to digital enterprises, federal contractors, and producers of art and fashion. Madonna Yawakie, president of Turtle Island Communications, a provider of broadband services to tribal nations, is a prime example of an indigenous entrepreneur. She and her husband, Mel Yawakie, are both in their 60s and 59s.
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