Idaho Hispanic Foundation, a grant recipient of the Community Navigator Pilot Program, and the Idaho Women’s Business Center’s team hosted nonprofits to launch Idaho Connect, an ecosystem of community organizations committed to supporting underserved entrepreneurs on the path to economic recovery. Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, provided the keynote address.
Idaho Connect Community Navigator Partners include:
- Idaho Small Business Development Centers
- Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- South Central Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Idaho Veterans Chamber of Commerce
- Veteran Entrepreneur Alliance
- Idaho Black Community Alliance
- Shoshone-Bannock Tribe
- Nez Perce Tribe
- Coeur d’Alene Tribe
Jonelle Yearout, NCDF Executive Director, was in attendance and gave remarks on behalf of the Nez Perce Tribe for their Small Business Administration Community Navigator Grant.
What are Community Navigators?
The Community Navigator Pilot Program is an American Rescue Plan initiative designed to reduce barriers that underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs often face in accessing the programs they need to recover, grow, or start their businesses. The program will provide a total of $100 million in funding to 51 organizations that will work with hundreds of local community groups to improve access to SBA and government resources for America’s entrepreneurs.
The selected projects will cover diverse communities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Grantees will serve as “hubs” — centralized, lead organizations, which will incorporate “spokes,” organizations that have built trust in their local communities and will be the ‘boots on the ground’ that will connect small businesses to critical resources and assistance, including:
- financial assistance and access to capital
- contracting and procurement
- marketing, operations, business development, and exporting
- industry-specific training
See the list of Community Navigator Pilot Program grantees.