April 30, 2013
At the beginning of April, Northwest Indian College (NWIC) students headed to Scottsdale, Arizona with a business plan concept in their hands that they hoped was creative enough and put together well enough to out-compete the business plans of tribal college students from across the nation.
The students were in Arizona April 11-13 for the American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) 2013 Annual National Conference, at which a student business plan competition took place.
The mission of AIBL is to increase the representation of American Indians and Alaska Natives in business and entrepreneurial ventures through education and leadership development opportunities. The business plan competition supports AIBL’s mission by requiring participating students to develop the concept for a business and a written plan for its implementation.
“The competition has us put an idea into words, and then come up with a solid plan for the idea, and then present it in a convincing and thorough enough way to persuade someone to support it,” said NWIC team member Stephanie Charlie, Suquamish. “It gave us hands-on, real world experience. We would have to do the same thing if we were applying for a loan, for instance.”
NWIC team members Jennifer Cordova-James, Allen Revey, Bonnie Russell, Robert Gladstone, and Stephanie Charlie were joined at the conference by NWIC business instructor Steve Zawoysky. Adib Jamshedi, from Lummi Ventures, didn’t attend the conference, but he did provide students with his expertise.