Program to serve Native American women

Thunderbird for Good will host Native American women from four Arizona tribes through a new business skills training program in 2014 and 2015 sponsored by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. “Working with women from the Native American community is something Thunderbird for Good has wanted to do from the beginning,” said Thunderbird for Good client director Wynona Heim ’08. “If we are going to help women halfway around the world learn to grow their businesses, then it only makes sense to do the same thing for underserved women in our own back yard.”

Previous Thunderbird for Good programs, including the flagship Project Artemis Afghanistan, have brought women entrepreneurs to Arizona from as far away as Central Asia, Oceania, Latin America and the Middle East. The newest program will serve up to 20 participants from Freeport-McMoRan mining communities in Arizona. Nations represented will include San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache, Hualapai and Tohono O’odham.

Freeport-McMoRan also collaborates with Thunderbird for Good on the DreamBuilder Business Plan Creator, an online program launched in 2012 that helps women entrepreneurs develop business plans in Chile, Peru and the United States. “Freeport-McMoRan is passionate about improving the communities where they work,” Heim said.

Participants in the campus-based program will study with Thunderbird professors for one week in September 2014 and then return for a follow-up session in February 2015. Volunteer mentors will work one-on-one with each participant between sessions. Heim said she will look primarily within Arizona for these mentors. “We think it would be a real advantage for these businesswomen to meet their mentors and see their businesses firsthand,” she said.

People interested in serving as mentors should send inquiries to

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