Building Better and Sustainable Future for Our Communities

How We Work With Entrepreneurs

New American Academy (NAA) builds long-term working relationships with entrepreneurs, providing relevant services at each stage of development. This comprehensive, high-touch approach distinguishes NAA from other community-development organizations.

Three principles inform the way NAA delivers these comprehensive services and these are often as important to an entrepreneur’s success as the availability of services themselves.

Creating Culturally Competent Accessibility: NAA staff members reflect and understand the ethnic and cultural communities they serve. This makes NAA an accessible organization, and allows it to develop respectful, trusting relationships with clients over time. Locating trainings and Business Resource Centers within the community, scheduling activities when people are most able to take advantage of them, and providing materials, training and ongoing support in the entrepreneur’s native language further enhance accessibility.

Building Supportive, Long-Term Relationships: NAA focuses on building supportive, long-term relationships that can weather the inevitable challenges that face small businesses in low-income communities. Because its goal is community revitalization, NAA strives to preserve a struggling business. Rather than mailing out an impersonal collection letter at the first sign of trouble, NAA staff members discuss the situation face-to-face with the entrepreneur, with a focus on solving problems and helping the business thrive.

Developing Accountable Community Leaders: NAA believes entrepreneurs have great potential to become community leaders and role models. NAA regularly celebrates the successes of it clients with award ceremonies and community events that include community members, families and friends of entrepreneurs and business owners. NAA also holds entrepreneurs accountable to make good use of the support they receive on behalf of the wider community, encouraging them to hire locally, to work collaboratively with other local businesses, and to see themselves as part of a broader revitalization effort.