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On April 14, 2018, NativeWomenLead.org convened 200 Native American women for the inaugural Native Women’s Business Summit, the largest gathering of Native American female entrepreneurs in history. The sold-out two-day event, held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, provided a platform for Native American women to share their collective experiences, grow social capital, and build a network reflective of their cultures.

Far too often, the voices of Native American women are left at edges of already marginalized communities. Therefore, our goal was simple: to demonstrate that Native American women are community leaders, CEOs, mothers, wives, elders, and the critical drivers of Indigenous businesses that contribute $11 Billion to the economy.  

The Native Women’s Business Summit featured technical training on developing business plans, accessing capital, financial literacy, branding and pitching to investors. 85% of our presenters and experts were Native American business professionals. To limit barriers to attendance, NativeWomenLead.org provided full-day child care on-site, allowing mothers to participate while ensuring a safe environment for their children. 

I felt the energy, vigor and vitality of successful women. We need more of these summits throughout Indian Country
— Summit attendee
We all had some goal, commonality, we were treated as an equal, inspired to go to the next level, I am tired of being in the shadow of non-Indian professionals. I think I can do this, this was the only space I felt being uplifted
— Summit attendee