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Purchasing Power Background

Purchasing Power Initiative – Powered by Red Rock Innovations
 
Background:
 
The MAICC is dedicated to the development of American Indian businesses by connecting them to new and traditional markets.  For us to be successful, we need a business membership mature enough to meet free market demands.  While there are several successful Tribal and American Indian businesses, this number doesn't equate to an overall picture of success when considering the entire American Indian population.  
 
There's still a huge equity gap and need for:
 
1.  Qualified American Indian businesses providing in-demand products/services
2.  American Indian entrepreneurs and future business owners
3.  A more culturally sensitive, highly-educated, confident and motivated American Indian workforce
4.  Business-supported on-the-job training and skills development programs
 
The greatest opportunity is to identify viable business opportunities on and off the reservation to retain more assets in the American Indian Community.
 
The MAICC is uniquely positioned to establish the foundation for the Purchasing Power Initiative.  The ultimate goal is to identify viable economic development opportunities for Tribes and American Indian Business owners.  We can achieve this if we learn to work together in a trusted atmosphere and have a successful model of joint purchasing to build upon.
 
MAICC convened over the past few years, MN elected tribal leaders, tribal economic development directors, American Indian business owners and American Indian business allies together to discuss the potential for collective purchasing power among MN tribes. Meetings focused on understanding initial barriers and challenges (perceived or real).  Documenting and sharing this information with all Tribal elected officials has built momentum to move forward.  Minnesota tribes are willing to take the next step.  Strong guidance and support is needed.  Small victories are critical to ensure further buy-in and future success.
 
MAICC has since partnered with Red Rock Innovations to create an online system to bring Tribes and Vendors together.  The system allows multiple Tribes to share a master database of vendors, approve vendors they choose to do business and thus creating their own database of vendors that can be accessed by all of a Tribes enterprises including government, businesses, schools, etc.  Benefit to vendors is only having to register once and have access to multiple Tribes business opportunities. 
 
Goals of the Purchasing Power Initiative:
 
  1. Create viable enterprises opportunities for Tribes and American Indian business owners on and off the reservation.
  2. Build strong trusting relationships between the Tribes to work together and support each other’s efforts.
  3. Create meaningful career opportunities for American Indian people on or off the reservation.
  4. Develop substantial revenue streams for Tribes outside of gaming.
  5. Replicate the trusted relationship model for areas outside of economic development to maximize the power, influence and strength of Tribes.
 
The Purchasing Power Initiative will be successful when:
 
  1. All Tribes are actively engaged.
  2. Joint Purchasing benefits credibly identified and realized by all Tribes.
  3. Tribes engaged with resources and expertise necessary to scale project so if a vendor wants to sell to Tribes, they approach the collective unit, not individual Tribes.
  4. Tribal and American Indian Businesses enjoy real preference by being highlighted and have access to earn a Tribes business.
  5. Tribes and American Indian Business owners’ open viable businesses based on our purchasing data and are successful.
  6. The Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce no longer seeks funding as it is providing value to its members.
  7. The Tribes unite to maximize their power, strength and influence on all matters that affect their Tribe and their citizens.
 
Although these measures of success seem pie in the sky, they are real and achievable.  
 
The MAICC has shared this vision throughout Minnesota and nationally through trustworthy, large organizations.  We have diligently spent time and resources to thoroughly document the initial gatherings of Tribal Leaders.  The perceived or real barriers of working together, how to build a trusted system and create a community of opportunities for all Tribes and their members is at the core of the process.