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Posted on: June 15, 2017

Cherokee Nation GrowOK Program for Rural Businesses

The Cherokee Nation has partnered with i2E, inc to bring a wonderful opportunity to businesses in your area called GrowOK. The GrowOK program is a three-week program designed to explore the product/market fit of a new business concept. Each program includes three two-hour, in-person workshops in Tahlequah, with outside activities to be completed by the participating company/entrepreneur. Additionally, companies participate in weekly one-on-one meetings to receive individual feedback and direction for their business. During the GrowOK program participants will evaluate:

• Customer segments
• Product/market fit
• Risks and competition
• Initial paths to market
• How to reach potential customers
• Implementing customer feedback
• Setting metrics for success
• Introduction to startup capital

Following completion of the program, each company receives a recommendation report with next steps for their venture.

Any business within your service area is eligible if they meet the following criteria: 1) a resident of the state of Oklahoma, 2) a tribal citizen or a resident of rural Oklahoma and 3) committed to the success of the business.

Ideally we are looking for businesses that fit into one of the following categories and possess these distinctive qualities but we are encouraging all businesses to apply for selection into the program. :
• Concept – an idea for a business with no current revenue or customers
• Proof-of-concept – a business with a few initial customers or a company with a prototype
• Established Business – a business earning revenue and seeking growth
• Growth Oriented- A business that can eventually employ multiple people
• Experienced- An entrepreneur or team with industry experience relevant to the      business/concept
• Innovative- A business that is creating a new solution to a market problem
• For-profit- Business that will generate revenue and jobs

If you could please share with businesses in your area I would appreciate it. They have questions they can visit the website www.growok.org to apply or to learn more about the program. As always, if you or anyone has any questions feel free to reach out to me at stephen-highers@cherokee.org or 918-207-3955.

I appreciate you all and your partnership.

Stephen

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Stephen Highers,
Entrepreneur Development Manager
Small Business Assistance Center

918-207-3955-office
918-931-1700-cell
stephen-highers@cherokee.org
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