NABIN - Header
Jake Hoyungowa

Volunteer - What We Do Section Title

What We Do

Change Labs - what we do (content)

Marissa Mike Designs

Business incubator

Since 2014, Change Labs has provided counseling, mentorship, and technical training to dozens of startups and entrepreneurs.

Jessica Stago, Change Labs director, at innovation challenge

Workshops and events

Change Labs hosts financial planning workshops, lunch and learns, business summits, and other events throughout the year.

Change Labs coworking space

Coworking space

The Change Labs coworking studio in Tuba City, Arizona, provides Native entrepreneurs with desk space, internet access, and more. 

Change Labs - goal

Change Labs is an ambitious, long-term effort to support and grow Native-owned and -operated businesses on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in northern Arizona.

Change Labs - scaling up support

Scaling up support for Native businesses

In 2014, we founded the Native American Business Incubator Network (NABIN) to help entrepreneurs navigate bureaucratic red tape and grow their businesses. And it worked. NABIN provided business counseling for 42 existing and aspiring businesses, ranging from bed-and-breakfast operators to fashion designers. In 2019, we joined forces with Catapult Design and the W.E. Kellogg Foundation to support the next chapter of NABIN's sustainable economic development work in Native America: Change Labs. The newly named Change Labs is a fully autonomous, Native-led nonprofit positioned to ramp up its services across tribal lands.

Read more about the transition and what Change Labs has in store ›

Change labs - technical assistance

Change labs - technical assistance
Raymond Chee

Technical assistance

Few resources exist for Native entrepreneurs looking to start businesses, and the paperwork alone can be overwhelming. Change Labs provides work space, tools, resources, know-how, and novel financing mechansims tailored to the unique needs of Native entrepreneurs.

Change Labs - breaking down barriers

Change Labs - breaking down barriers
Raymond Chee

Breaking down barriers

Starting a business on tribal land is hard — many communities lack internet access, infastructure, and financing opportunities. Change Labs helps Native entrepreneurs work through these challenges. We're ready for the next era of economic development and see small businesses as drivers of healthy, culturally cognizant economies.

Change Labs - Changing the Conversation

Change Labs - Changing the Conversation
Raymond Chee

Changing the conversation

As tribal leaders wrestle with the complex issues of economic growth, they overlook the potential for small businesses and entrepreneurs to drive healthy economies. Change Labs sees the powerful change that is possible if entrepreneurs are nurtured in a supportive environment, and is working with the Navajo and Hopi tribes to increase the number of small businesses operating on their lands. 

Change labs - why it matters

Why it matters

Strengthening tribal economies is critical to preventing inappropriate developments like Grand Canyon Escalade from muscling their way into tribal communities. Change Labs is grounded in addressing the day-to-day challenges of Native entrepreneurs and building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that provides livelihoods without compromising cultural values.

Change Labs - faces of change labs

Faces of Change Labs

NABIN - 2018 cohort

Roseann and Lester Littleman run a hogan and tipi bed-and-breakfast and offer guided tours on the Navajo Nation.

Nicholas Smith provides custom t-shirt, banner, vinyl decal, and other printing services from his shop in Shiprock, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation.

This brother-sister duo is tackling waste and trash-dumping issues on the Hopi mesas through recycling bins, workshops, and community cleanups.

Chef and caterer Carlos Deal brings fresh sushi and healthy stir-fries to customers across the Navajo Nation via food truck.

NABIN - call to action

Support sustainable economic development on tribal lands

Change Labs Blog


First-generation jeweler Thomas Deel is back at his jeweler's bench crafting statement pieces out of silver, turquoise, coral, and gold.

Read More

Summer and LaMandez Brown knew there weren't a lot of jobs on the Navajo reservation. So they made their own.

Read More

Marisa Mike, a Diné fashion designer, combines traditional styles with contemporary twists in her line of special-occasion wear.

Read More
Copyright © 2024 Grand Canyon Trust