Flagstaff, AZ – The National Center American Indian PTAC hosted the first B2B Business Matchmaking event at the 2018 Navajo Nation Economic Summit at the Twin Arrows Casino Resort near Flagstaff, Arizona on April 25, 2018. The B2B event, in conjunction with the 3rd Annual Navajo Nation Economic Summit, had a focus on the Navajo Nation Economic Development and Small Business Opportunities. The event had several breakout learning sessions, golf tournament, annual small business awards banquet and other keynote presentations. The theme of the event was, “Road to Regional Diversification”. With the high unemployment and other economic development issues, the Navajo Nation is encouraging opportunities for entrepreneurship and small business development.
With its success of the business matchmaking events at its Annual Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Las Vegas, the National Center PTAC wanted to bring the B2B to this event and encourage networking and matchmaking on the Navajo Nation. Senior Procurement Specialist, Joan Notah, whose coverage area includes all of Navajo Nation, planned and organized this B2B event. It was the first time that the Navajo Nation experienced this type of event and it did require more information sessions and outreach to make it a success. 34 buyers from the Navajo Nation, federal agencies, and corporations and 54 small businesses participated in the event resulting in over 230 one-on-one meetings. Buyers were able to share information on their contract opportunities and buying forecasts and small businesses had an opportunity to market their products and services directly with the buyers within those organizations.
“This was worth the cost to attend!” said Don Kelin, a member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, President of CADDO Office Solutions. “We were able to identify many small businesses with products and services that we need,” said Jeanette Jones, Purchasing Specialist from the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development. “This is the type of event that we need on Navajo Nation where there is no central purchasing entity for small businesses to market to all of Navajo Nation buyers,” said Ms. Notah. She continued with her vision for this event to grow with more buyers and small businesses participating at next year’s event.
The National Center’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) provides professional business consulting services and technical assistance to Native American-owned businesses regarding marketing and selling to the Federal, state, local and tribal governments and large prime contractors. Assistance extends to all Native American businesses (American Indian, Alaska Native Corporations and Native Hawaiians) and includes tribes and individual businesses both on and off reservations.
The National Center’s PTAC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement from the Department of Defense (DoD) through a program that is administered by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.