The two features in this edition of Community Dividendexplore topics that have developed over the last 25 years or so. Our first feature is based on a speech University of Arizona Professor Stephen Cornell delivered at an American Indian business conference in Montana earlier this year. According to Cornell, media reports about Indian Country during the last couple of decades have overlooked two important stories. One is the gradual shift from transfer-based economies to production economies. The other is the growth of an independent business sector consisting of enterprises owned by individual tribal members. This increase in what Cornell calls tribal-citizen entrepreneurshipis generating jobs, building wealth and improving the quality of life on many reservations. In his speech, Cornell describes additional benefits of tribal-citizen entrepreneurship, outlines obstacles that Native entrepreneurs face and identifies ways tribal governments can change attitudes, investments and institutions in order to support entrepreneurship on reservations.
The rise of the mortgage broker industry over the last 25 years is the backdrop of our second feature. The article, authored by a team of graduate students from the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, discusses licensing mortgage brokers as a means of ensuring high and consistent quality of services. The authors explore pros and cons of licensing mortgage brokers, analyze and compare the two most common approaches to licensing and offer recommendations for policymakers to consider.