Native American Youth Entrepreneurship Program

Native American Youth Entrepreneurship Program (NAYEP)

A 5-day intensive workshop to build entrepreneurial skills & gain real-world experience from Indigenous professionals

JULY 8-12, 2024 (Online only)

Register now


Are you interested in being your own boss and making your own money?

Do you have a product or service idea you'd like to turn into a business?


Transform ideas into a business outline by doing fun, hands-on activities
Learn leadership skills from Native American business professionals
Collaborate with students from Native nations from across the U.S.
Win gift card prizes & UArizona swag

2024 Keynote Speakers & Judges

Keynote: Torin Jacobs II (NAYEP Alumni)

Torin Jacobs

Torin Jacobs II, known by his Yugtun name Kuicaak, is of Yupik and Inupiaq heritage and has familial connections to Bethel and Hooper Bay, Alaska. He is 22 years old and is a recent graduate of Montclair State University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science.  

In 2019, Torin participated in the Native Youth Entrepreneurship Program (NAYEP), where he pitched his own personal training brand, setting the stage for his entrepreneurial endeavors. Following this, Torin gained valuable experience through internships at native-run fitness facility CB Training Studio, facilitated by the First Alaskans Institute, and at Rockland Peak Performance, a high-performance strength and conditioning facility. 

Now a certified personal trainer, Torin is dedicated to his personal training brand, helping others achieve their fitness goals while also advancing the development of his supplement brand, Little River Supplements. As a licensed personal trainer and on the brink of qualifying as a nutritionist, Torin is committed to his holistic approach to health and wellness. Outside of work, he finds joy in staying active with activities like fishing, hiking, and spending quality time with his family. 

Judge: Alicia Ortega (Pueblos of Pojoaque & Santa Clara)

Alicia Ortega

Alicia Ortega is from the Pueblos of Pojoaque and Santa Clara where she is known by her Tewa name, Evergreen Blossom. She is the Owner and CEO of Evergreen Ingenuity; a 100% Native woman-owned and led consulting firm that specializes in Strategic Planning, Facilitation, Business Consulting, Executive Coaching, Restorative Justice, Tribal Governance, Education and Policy Planning. Alicia has over a decade of experience working with minority and tribally owned and operated businesses and entities from start-ups to established businesses, including youth entrepreneurs. She is currently the Development Strategist for Native Guitars Tour (NGT) where she supports the growth and development of the organization and manages the art, fashion, education, advocacy and storytelling components of NGT. Alicia also holds extensive knowledge in tribal, state and federal governance and a BBA in Organizational Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies and two MBA degrees in Marketing and Management of Technology from the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management. 



The aim of NAYEP is to foster skills to encourage private-sector development in Indian Country by teaching high-school youth the basics of economics, computer skills, strategies for success, and business-plan preparation. With the guidance of experienced instructors and Indigenous business leaders, NNI’s NAYEP teaches high school students how to build entrepreneurial skills and how to actualize a business idea. Classes are currently offered virtually.

DAY 1 Monday: Introduction to Entrepreneurship & Invention Convention

DAY 2 Tuesday: The Economics of Starting a Business

DAY 3 Wednesday: Is There a Demand for Your Product?

DAY 4 Thursday: The Cost of Doing Business

DAY 5 Friday: Speed Pitch Showcase

Attendance for all 5 days is required

  • A computer or mobile device with a reliable internet connection (Note: Mobile devices (smart phones, tablets) are supported but may not be ideal for required assignments) 
  • Up-to-date internet browser
  • Headphones, earbuds or speakers
  • Webcam and microphone  
  • Word processing application to save and open Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, and Power Point) and access to the Google online suite 

  • Must be a high school student grades 9-12 as of fall 2024 (or a graduating senior May 2024)

  • Must identify as Indigenous and reside within the United States

Application Fee: $50

Register now

NAYEP hero

Meet the NAYEP Team


If you have any questions or disability accommodations (e.g., sign language interpreters, alternative formats) please contact us.

NAYEP is made possible in part by generous support from the Udall Foundation.


Get the latest

Sign up for NNI News