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American Indian business is booming. The number of American Indian– and Alaska Native–owned businesses increased by 15.3 percent from 2007 to 2012—a time when the total number of US businesses increased by just 2 percent—and receipts grew from $34.4 million in 2002 to $8.8 billion in 2012. Despite this impressive growth, there is an absence of small businesses on reservations, and Native Americans own private businesses at the lowest rate per capita for any ethnic or racial group in the United States. Many Indigenous entrepreneurs face unique cultural and practical challenges in starting, locating, and operating a business, from a perceived lack of a culture of entrepreneurship and a suspicion of capitalism to the difficulty of borrowing start-up funds when real estate is held in trust and cannot be used as collateral.
This book provides an accessible introduction to American Indian businesses, business practices, and business education. Its chapters cover the history of American Indian business from early trading posts to today’s casino boom; economic sustainability, self-determination, and sovereignty; organization and management; marketing; leadership; human resource management; tribal finance; business strategy and positioning; American Indian business law; tribal gaming operations; the importance of economic development and the challenges of economic leakage; entrepreneurship; technology and data management; business ethics; service management; taxation; accounting; and health-care management.
American Indian Business also furthers the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in the study of American business practices in general and demonstrates the significant impact that American Indians have had on business, as well as their cultural contributions to management, leadership, marketing, economic development, and entrepreneurship.