By Kristin Butler
Indian country stays connected through its own online business ecosystem. Native Edge offers access to comprehensive business training, networking, employment and development tools.
Particularly Reservation Economic Summit (RES) attendees should take advantage of the opportunity to network through the N2N Edge Community prior to, during and after national or regional RES events. A bonus: all RES Las Vegas 2016 registrations include a one month premium membership to Native Edge.
“The Native Edge and the RES are symbiotic,” Gary Davis, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (National Center) President and CEO, told ICTMN. “They both feed and grow off of each other. National RES attendees, as well as all future RES attendees, will be given a month premium subscription on a trial basis to get into the Native Edge. What we do then is encourage all of our attendees to setup their profile, to connect via LinkedIn or Facebook. The attendees have the ability, in advance of National RES, or in advance of a Regional RES, to meet, to connect in the Native Edge portal, to set up meetings for when they get to a National or Regional RES.”
The N2N Edge Community offers a variety of free interactive and social tools to communicate with other members of the Native Edge community, including Native Edge Member Groups, the Native Edge business directory and member timeline status updates.
After using Native Edge to facilitate in-person meetings, users can also frequent the Native Edge afterward “to continue their dialogue and communication, and even network with other folks that they may have just met at a RES who are already in the Native Edge,” Davis said. “I think we’re just starting to realize how powerful the Native Edge is to maintain and grow a business and develop new connections.”
Premium memberships provide additional access to the Procurement Edge and Training Edge, a comprehensive video training library. Members can also post and browse open job positions through the Hire Edge.
The Procurement Edge is an online meeting place and procurement sourcing tool for Tribes, Native-owned businesses, corporations and federal agencies seeking Native American suppliers. Premium Members have the ability to post, search and respond to requests for proposals (RFPs). The Native Edge features hundreds of RFPs from across Indian country, including easily searchable “Buy Indian Act” contracting opportunities.
The Training Edge is home to dozens of training videos on diverse topics, including content from the National Center’s national and regional Reservation Economic Summits. The Native Edge’s comprehensive video training library is designed for business development, technical assistance, best practices, employee/management teams skills, education, and compliance training.
For instance, the Training Edge gives small business marketing tips, such as how to harness the power of social media like Facebook to reach new and current customers.
The National Center built the unprecedented portal to give Indian country the “Edge” in all aspects of business.
“Native Edge is so important and so powerful,” Davis told ICTMN. “If you want to bring those teachings or that knowledge back to your company, back to your staff, back to your tribal members, you can get a membership to the Native Edge. All of that content, within a few months, will be available within the Native Edge portal.”
For instance, RES New Mexico took place November 16-19, 2015, at Buffalo Thunder Hotel & Casino in Santa Fe. Here are three valuable RES New Mexico training videos available on the Training Edge.