Native FORGE is modeled on the proven concept of Arizona FORGE (Finding Opportunities and Resources to Grow Entrepreneurs) a unique entrepreneurial community that combines startup acceleration alongside experiential student and community education. Funded by a five-year, matching grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Native FORGE establishes a new center to support economic growth in tribal communities in Arizona.
Many Tribal Communities are seeking to strengthen their local economies through small businesses and community entrepreneurs. Native FORGE, through its Mentors in Residence, aims to provide technical assistance to the 22 Native Nations of Arizona and their community members.
TRIBAL DATA TRAINING, DEVELOPMENT, AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM
A second major initiative under Native FORGE is the Tribal Data Training, Development, and Assessment Program. To enhance Arizona’s Native Nations’ economic climates, better access to and analysis of data, and on-site technical assistance will serve as the platform to address tribes’ express requests for university-based technical assistance in assisting with building tribal data infrastructure and capacity.
Native FORGE will
- Provide technical assistance to Arizona Tribal Nations by conducting research and providing data for tribal use in workforce assessment, business forecasting, economic and community planning, and funding development. Data provided will be sourced from the U.S. Census, ESUR Community Analysis/GIS, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other data sources.
- Provide technical assistance and training for Arizona Tribal Nations in survey construction, survey administration, data security, and survey data analysis so that Tribal Nations may collect, analyze, and secure their own local data.
- Develop and launch the University of Arizona Native FORGE web portal to support all training and resources developed including public data assessment specific to Arizona Tribal Nations.
The University of Arizona’s EDA University Center, Native FORGE, is led by Arizona FORGE at its flagship location, FORGE at Roy Place - a connectivity resource hub for entrepreneurship. The center features workspaces, 360° video conferencing, flexible classrooms, presentation spaces, collaboration rooms for mentoring, and event spaces. FORGE at Roy Place houses programs, and facilities, that connect entrepreneurs, students, and community members to build engagement and learning.