Operation CONNECT

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
NC Indian Economic Development Initiative, Inc
City & State:
North Carolina
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

NCIEDI's mission is to foster, enhance and promote economic development in North Carolina’s urban and tribal Indian communities through the creation and preservation of good jobs, the creation of social and capital assets, and increased capacity for individual tribal member’s self-development in the local, state, national, and global economic sphere.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

NC Indian Economic Development Initiative (NCIEDI) is a statewide economic engine created to support North Carolina American Indian tribal and individual businesses opportunities statewide. We are the only state supported Indian governed and solely focused on NC Indian business entity in NC. We have taken the organization from the ground up with the advent of technology; we had no network to speak of as late as 4 years ago. We have used Microsoft and others to create a baseline infrastructure internally and externally with the building of our website, email, and online processes. We are currently in the planning stages for creating something very special for our tribes that is critically needed in our Indian Communities. We are calling it at this point for funding/support reasons “OPERATION CONNECT” NCIEDI has been working on creating a technology infrastructure that does not exist for NC American Indian Communities. North Carolina is the most populous American Indian state east of Mississippi River! Approximately 130,000 Indians live, work and love our great state. But unlike other large populous American Indian inhabited areas, we are predominately non reservated, non federally recognized tribes. There are eight tribes that call NC home and only the Cherokee have full federal assistance. They only make up around 14,000 of the state’s entire American Indian population of 130,000 plus. The reality of this is that outside of the Cherokee the other seven tribes don't get any federal assistance and we are like all other Americans we work, fundraise, pay taxes for our causes with no additional help. Based on the latest statistics, 30% to 40% of American Indians in NC live below the poverty level and 70% live in economically distressed areas. Our youth is dropping out of school at an alarming rate of well over 50%, largely in part to hopelessness and lack of access to things such as good and easily accessible technology. The one real asset we have is our tribal offices and Indian Urban organizations, all total 12 centers throughout the state serve as a central point of contact for NC American Indians in their respective communities. NCIEDI Operation CONNECT would allow us to set up a central repository of Economic, Educational, Job fairs, Business Growth opportunities for all the tribes in NC by connected them in their communities to our networks, which they cannot afford today based the costs and setup that would be required. The funds from Microsoft/Adobe would allow us to do this and build a self supporting portal for the tribal communities, by allowing access for all of their tribal members to have a place to come and acquire the information without cost or hardship to them or the tribes. This would make an unprecedented impact as the front-page of American Indian Growth and access for the entire STATE! The applications would be limitless as far as an information push to the 12 locations, but we would initially focus on business education, opportunity, jobs and our Youth Financial Literacy Program that we are teaching to NC American Indian Youth. It would also serve as community event bulletin board for important events business and cultural. We are looking to team with other local companies to support and sell their services and expose themselves in a very positive way to the various tribal and urban communities. We believe that this would be the first step in reviving and nurturing our Tribes not only from a business opportunity billboard, but an overall socio-economic shift in expanding our knowledge base. It is a critical component in giving our future leaders a tool to enhance opportunity and global awareness. We are currently in the process of planning and looking for Hardware, IT talent and High speed connectivity support. We are confident that this will have such an impact that it will not only connect us professionally and culturally, but be a model for others in the country to follow. Lastly, we feel that it will have a synergistic effect on the eight tribes and promote a unified pool of collaboration and spawn new intra-tribal businesses. The ultimate goal of bringing and keeping jobs in our very rural and technology starved communities. We look forward to your support!

Submission Category
Transformations to Maximize Impact