Workshops focus on small business development

Noel Lyn Smith

FARMINGTON — A series of business development workshops taking place this month will focus on developing profitable small businesses on the Navajo Nation.

Capacity Builders Inc. Executive Director Rachel Nawrocki says a series of workshops the organization has planned will address topics such as business planning, management basics, finance and marketing.

The workshops are part of the Six Northern Navajo Chapters Economic Opportunity initiative started by Capacity Builders Inc. in October. They will focus on providing training and technical assistance for small business development in the Nenahnezad, Upper Fruitland, Tsé Daa K'aan, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad and Shiprock chapters.

For this phase of the initiative, the nonprofit is partnering with the Farmington office of WESST, a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on supporting local businesses, to help people learn the steps to starting a business, as well as helping them determine whether they are ready to proceed.

Rachel Nawrocki, executive director for Capacity Builders, a nonprofit that provides resources and services to develop communities on the Navajo Nation, said this week the workshops will highlight topics such as business planning, management basics, finance and marketing. Participants will also hear from Diné business owners about the steps they took to operate their businesses.

Nawrocki said it is "super critical" to develop small businesses in chapter communities, and offering these types of workshops contributes to that process.

In October, Capacity Builders was the recipient of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Development Grant program. Since then, the nonprofit has been using the grant to fulfill the initiative's focus of providing services and workshop in the six chapters.

Workshops will be held on Tuesday at the Nenahnezad Chapter house, on Thursday at the Upper Fruitland Chapter house, on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at the Tsé Daa K'aan Chapter house, on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at the San Juan Chapter house, on Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Tiis Tsoh Sikaad Chapter house and on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at the Shiprock Chapter house.

Up to 20 people can register for each workshop, all of which start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Early registration is required, and a registration form can be found on the 6CEO Northern Navajo Development link under the Economic Development tab on the Capacity Builders website,

For more information about registering, contact Audra Benally at 505-326-4245 or