The Navajo Green Economy Coalition — creating a green business incubator
We continue to have a strong partnership with the Diné Binaanish Yá’át’éehgo Nooséél (Navajo Green Jobs, or DBYN), which consists of nonprofit groups —the Trust, Sierra Club, Black Mesa Water Coalition, and One Sky New Mexico. This group is dedicated to helping mitigate the economic impacts brought on by the closure of Peabody’s Black Mesa Mine by creating and fostering mechanisms that support culturally relevant, community-based projects that build green economies.
The DBYN was critical in getting the Navajo Green Economy Commission (NGEC) Act of 2009 and Navajo Green Economy Commission Fund of 2009 passed. After achieving its initial goal to establish NGEC and the Fund, the nonprofits that comprise DBYN reconfigured and adjusted their strategy to continue supporting their full implementation and to launch several projects:
- Conduct preliminary research for a feasibility study related to developing a green business incubator to help fledgling entrepreneurs and assist with funding opportunities
- Develop environmental curricula for schools on the Navajo Nation
- Continue environmental education to Chapter communities
The Trust works closely with the DBYN coordinator and the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET), on strategizing the next steps to implement a green business incubator on the Navajo Nation.
We also helped develop the Navajo Green Jobs Toolkit: Setting up a New Green Business on the Navajo Nation — a printable guidebook that provides a step-by-step framework on how to start a qualifying green business on the Navajo Nation.
In the first phase of the incubator, we conducted surveys and obtained an understanding of the business landscape across the Navajo Nation. After several strategic sessions, the team is now working with Navajo Nation Western Regional Development Office staff to begin research and planning for the incubator.
By working with and strengthening relationships with existing resources and service providers, we will be able to identify green ventures and entrepreneurs that move us toward the vision of a virtual business incubator that will eventually transform into a full-fledged business development center. Our goal is to offer hands-on consulting, legal services, connections to potential investors, shared office space, equipment and administrative support, and link clients to specialty labs.