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Initiative helps grow Indian Country innovators, entrepreneurs

July 12, 2012

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) and the Arizona State University First Innovations Initiative are proud to announce that the NCAIED will serve as a sponsor for First Innovations by hosting two student interns for the Summer 2012 Internship Program. The internship will provide the students with hands-on experience in developing and implementing a business model, as well as working knowledge of the concepts of sustainability and innovation within an American Indian context.
During their time at NCAIED, the student interns will work on developing a business model for the NCAIED to create a series of small business/entrepreneurial education workshops that will provide unique and insightful information for a wide range of participants, from start-up to active enterprises. The purpose of the education workshops is to provide opportunities and training to American Indian businesses.
"The NCAIED takes great pride in supporting Arizona State University's, "First Innovations Initiative" and facilitating this opportunity for students to learn and grow as entrepreneurs at our headquarters,” said Gary Davis, NCAIED President and CEO. “We look forward to all the innovative ideas that these brilliant young business minds will develop – helping us to continue serving Indian Country at the highest level.”
The ASU First Innovations Initiative, a collaboration between the ASU American Indian Policy Institute, the ASU Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts, and the ASU American Indian Studies program, is an award-winning program of innovation and entrepreneurship for American Indian sustainability. At a time when many tribal leaders see innovation and entrepreneurialship as a key component of sustainable tribal development, the First Innovations Initiative introduces students to the fundamentals of these concepts and focuses on entrepreneurship that is a cultural match with the long-term sustainability goals of tribes, tribal communities, and American Indians.
“This internship/field practicum provides an opportunity for students to put into practice innovative thinking skills and we are pleased that NCAIED is taking a leading role in providing a home to foster such skills”, expressed  Fonda Walters, co-instructor for the First Innovations Initiative and Senior Research Analyst for the American Indian Policy Institute.
The First Innovations curriculum is comprised of the summer field practicum followed by sequential courses offered in the fall and spring semesters. The Initiative was recently awarded the ASU 2011 Presidential Award for Innovation for its groundbreaking curriculum and the enthusiasm of the rapidly growing number of students from an expanding range of degree programs. The Initiative was also featured in Indian Country Today and is receiving international attention for its ability to resonate with indigenous peoples worldwide.
For more information about the ASU First Innovations Initiative, visit: 

For more information about the NCAIED, visit: