ERIC Number: ED474126
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Native American Business Participation in E-Commerce: An Assessment of Technical Assistance and Training Needs.
Bregendahl, Corry; Flora, Cornelia
A combined outreach and research initiative addressed the participation of Native American business owners in electronic commerce. E-commerce can provide many benefits to producers and consumers but does not ensure unmitigated economic success. It is only one part of a development process leading to achievement of tribes' broader social goals, including preservation of tribal sovereignty and self-determination. A discussion of five types of capital--financial, built (infrastructure), human, social, and cultural capital--examines the role of each in bridging the digital divide. Collaborative learning circles of Native business owners met at four sites in Arizona, Montana, and North Dakota, and interviews were carried out at tribal colleges, tribal small business centers, cooperative extension, and local organizations. Three broad themes that emerged were marginalization and exploitation; empowerment, sovereignty, and public policy; and the meaning of culture. Numerous needs and challenges were identified and are grouped in this report with extensive recommendations. These topics include: (1) access to business-related resources, including low-cost telecommunications, training, and parcel delivery to remote descriptive addresses; (2) credit and financing; (3) value chains and marketing; (4) building social capital (networking); (5) making the most of cultural capital (providing work and community services while protecting intellectual property and cultural values); (6) enhancing human capital (tribal college role, training needs, culturally sensitive training); and (7) enhancing tribal assets. Appendix lists learning circle discussion questions. (Contains 46 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Cultural Context, Economic Development, Educational Needs, Human Capital, Needs Assessment, Outreach Programs, Participatory Research, Reservation American Indians, Small Businesses, Social Capital, Technical Assistance, Technological Literacy
For full text: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/centers/rdev/pubs/contents/ecommercebook.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Ames, IA.