Native American business program looking for applicants

Program seeks up to 10 new business owners on Navajo Nation

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Jessica Stago is the program manager for the Native American Business Incubator Network in Flagstaff, Arizona.

FARMINGTON — The Native American Business Incubator Network is accepting applications for its upcoming entrepreneurship program.

Jessica Stago is the program manager for the network, which is part of the Grand Canyon Trust in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Stago said in a Jan. 31 telephone interview the program is seeking up to 10 business owners who are in the first year of their start-up on the Navajo Nation.

The yearlong program is designed to help participants study and understand markets, set up financial systems, determine how to reach customers, establish branding and learn how to find funding.

"Our criteria is, which ones can we provide the most assistance to, in terms of our capacity and what their needs are," Stago said.

Part of the selection process is interviews, which give applicants the opportunity to present reasons why they think their business is viable, she said.

The Native American Business Incubator Network in Flagstaff, Arizona, helps Native Americans develop business ideas and provides guidance to business owners.

The network was designed to create ecosystems for Native American entrepreneurs by providing programs and services in rural communities in the Colorado Plateau, including the Four Corners, she said.

Urban areas have business centers, but they might not have an understanding or awareness of the challenges of opening a business on the reservation, Stago added.

Addressing those issues is where the network steps in, she said.

Applications for the entrepreneur program can be submitted at and are due by Feb. 28.

For more information about the program, contact Stago at or at 602-206-2029.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.