EMSDC Honors Native American Heritage Month
The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC) stimulates and supports economic development with minority-owned businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American) across Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware. As we honor Native American Heritage Month, we understand how important it is to recognize the valuable contributions and entrepreneurial spirit of Indigenous Americans.
Forbes notes that, “Native American entrepreneurs have long confronted additional barriers to startup success, including a lack of financing, geographic isolation and deeply ingrained discrimination.” While discussing the diverse range of Native American-owned businesses in the US, including gaming, fashion, art, engineering, and telecommunication firms/digital enterprises founded to serve Tribal Nations, Forbes reports that, despite challenges, Native American entrepreneurship is on the rise.
Last year, the United States Census Bureau released new data on minority-owned, veteran-owned and women-owned businesses, including stats on Indiginous people. Here is what they found:
There were an estimated 26,064 American Indian and Alaska Native-owned businesses with $35.8 billion in receipts, 215,049 employees and about $8.7 billion in annual payroll.
There were an estimated 7,331 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses with approximately $8.5 billion in receipts, 51,869 employees and about $1.9 billion in annual payroll.
While impressive, there is lots of work to be done. To quote President Biden’s 2022 Proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month, “We must do more to ensure that Native Americans have every opportunity to succeed.”
Organizations like EMSDC (and NMSDC) help to facilitate business growth for systematically excluded communities of color. We advance economic equity through certification and creating connections between MBEs and member corporations.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) is also helping to provide opportunities for Native American small business owners by engaging in tribal consultations, producing promotional materials, providing expansion tools and technical assistance, and participating in national economic development conferences. For more information about ONAA, click here.
Native American MBE Spotlight
Owner: Sandy Burkett, President
Vital Signs is a certified Native American/Woman-owned custom sign and graphics company located in Carnegie, PA. Vital Signs designs and manufactures all types of interior/exterior signage, including vehicle graphics/wraps, ADA/Braille, wayfinding signs, business ID signs, advertising wraps, floor graphics, banners, trade show displays, and more. To see their full list of services, visit: https://www.vitalsignspgh.com/
Custom House LLC
Owner: Armon Vincent, CEO
Custom House is a Philadelphia-based technology consulting firm and certified MBE that provides software engineering staff augmentation and offsite project work, specializing in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, DevOps, Big Data, and Business Intelligence. For more information about their services, visit: https://www.customhouseinc.com/
Graboyes Commercial Windows and Glass Solutions
Owner: Ellis Guiles, President
Graboyes Commercial Window and Glass Solutions is a premier commercial glazing and fenestration firm, as well as a trusted leader in commercial/architectural custom glass and metal construction, service, and window installation. The firm has contributed to the diverse–built environment of Greater Philadelphia and the surrounding region for more than 35 years. To learn more about their services and experience, visit: https://www.graboyes.com/
The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC), a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). We certify and connect minority-owned businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American) throughout Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware with member corporations that want to purchase their products, services and solutions. Our mission is to stimulate and support the economic development of minority-owned businesses and to better align them with corporations in an effort to initiate growth and opportunity through Supplier Diversity channels.