About The NCAIED

A History Of Support For The Native American Entrepreneur

Who is the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development?

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

What is the mission of NCAIED?

Develop and expand an American Indian private sector which employs Indian labor, increases the number of viable tribal and individual Indian businesses, and positively impacts and involves reservation communities, by establishing business relationships between Indian enterprises and private industry


How does the NCAIED fulfill its mission?

  • Supply Management & Technical Assistance to Tribal & individually owned Indian businesses nationwide
  • Serves as a training and resource center for native entrepreneurs
  • Produce conferences, trade fairs & fundraising events that advance economic development across Indian Country
  • Advocate for American Indian and Alaska Native business development
  • Through the expansion and creation of domestic and global economic development opportunities

 What are the numbers for NCAIED?

  • Seven offices nationwide
  • 37 years in existence
  • Stable organization of nearly four (4) decades
  • 16 employees
  • 1,400 clients
  • Procure $500M for clients annually
  • Maintain an extensive contact database of over 31,000 records
  • Work with 80% of tribes
  • Produce 3 annual signature events

A History of the NCAIED

Committed To Native American Enterprise Development

In 1969, a small group of seven American Indian community leaders visualized the alleviation of many American Indian problems through improved economic conditions. These dynamic individuals, based in Los Angeles, California combined their efforts to start a grass roots economic development organization. Dedicated to assisting American Indian economic and enterprise development, their activities originally concentrated on urban populations of American Indians in California. Fittingly, they named the organization “UIDA” which stood for the Urban Indian Development Association.

Our early successes working with both government agencies and corporations led to expansion of services as well as innovative partnerships. For example, the “Council of Ten” that was formed by Joe Angello of Bank of America in the early 1970’s served as the forerunner to the current National Resource Council. Council members supply time, resources and financial support to facilitate our mission.


UIDA underwent a name change in the late 1980’s. Working with several influential U.S. senators, The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development was born. The name change was reflective of the expanding scope of work and changing nature of our role in urban and reservation-based business development. During the same time frame, the organization moved from California to Arizona and now owns a 10,000 square foot building in Mesa, Arizona which currently serves as the corporate headquarters.

Throughout the years, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) has always evolved to meet the growing needs of the American Indian business community. Today,  the National Center produces the Reservation Economic Summit (RES). RES is the largest and longest running American Indian business event in the nation. RES events now consist of our National RES event held each year at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as well as two Regional RES events which travel throughout the United States sustaining and growing the economic momentum of Indian Country.


Since our inception we have worked with approximately 80% of the tribes and assisted over 25,000 Indian Enterprises while training over 10,000 tribal members in various aspects of business development. In total, we have helped our clients obtain over $4.5 billion in contracts and financing.

After four decades, the NCAIED, a national 501(C)(3) non-profit American Indian economic and business development organization, commands a strong position in Indian Country. We are the largest and longest standing American Indian economic and business development organization in the nation.

Created by American Indians in 1969 and led by American Indians throughout its history, we were then – as we are now, the first national organization solely dedicated to developing American Indian economic self-sufficiency through business ownership. The tribal values and the vision of our elders that created this great organization continue today through our programs. Our work significantly contributes to leadership, small business and economic development for Indian Country.

A Timeline Of The NCAIED


The organization was conceptualized by a group of seven American Indians in Los Angeles, California was originally named the Urban Indian Development Association (UIDA).


Minority Business Development Association (MBDA) Indian Business Development Center contract awarded to UIDA.


Name change from UIDA to the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) to represent one national Indian business development organization.


UIDA Consulting Group (UCG), a for profit subsidiary of UIDA, is awarded the Department of Defense’s American Indian Procurement Technical Assistance contract to cover the eastern U.S.


UIDA officially incorporated and changed its name from Urban to United Indian Development Association to reflect its expanding scope of work.


Reservation Economic Summit (RES) the largest American Indian business conference and American Indian Trade Fair was developed.


NCAIED purchases a 10,000 square foot building in Mesa, Arizona which remains its current headquarters.


UIDA Business Services established as a separate non-profit corporation and opens its office in Atlanta, Georgia.


Council of Ten formed by Joe Angello of Bank of America. This was the forerunner to the current National Resource Council of today.


Organization moved to Tempe, Arizona.


Small Business Association’s American Indian Women’s Project awarded to NCAIED.


Department of Transportation’s TTAP program awarded to NCAIED.


Indian Progress in Business (INPRO) the annual award celebration and student scholarship program was developed.


Department of Defense’s American Indian Procurement Technical Assistance Center contract awarded to UIDA. This is now known as our Marketing & Procurement Services Program.


Small Business Association’s Native American Business Consultant contract awarded to NCAIED.


PLAINS, PAID and NWAID established as supporting non-profit programs of NCAIED and opens offices in Denver, Colorado; El Segundo, California and Lynwood, Washington respectively.