During summer 2011, Multicultural Business Programs implemented a new summer business program: The Native American Business Institute (NABI). Led by Graduate Assistant Allard Teeple, NABI’s mission is to “create a space or idea in an institute for a group of underrepresented people in the college of business as well as providing opportunities and knowledge skill-sets for Native American youth.”

NABI is a seven-day program led by Teeple and a team of five conference assistants. More than 20 students were in attendance during the program, where they were introduced to business as well as worked with MSU admissions officers, college counselors, tribal community leaders, and corporate representatives which prepared them for the college application process and exposed them to numerous academic and professional opportunities.

Michigan State University is surrounded by 12 tribes, each of which operates business on a daily basis. NABI is meant to be a stepping-stone into college that will help Native American students learn and utilize some of the best business practices in the world and in turn they can bring that knowledge back to their tribes. By providing a voice to academia and strengthening ties with the tribes and their enterprises, we can help catalyze the Native graduation rate at MSU.