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Finance

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Patrice Kunesh has a unique perspective on the effects that Native community financial development institutions have across Indian Country. 

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury has again extended the deadline for applications for its State Small Business Credit Initiative that could create $500 million in credit opportunities for Native-owned small businesses. 

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HERMON, Maine — When it came time for civil engineer Troy Devoe to expand his screen printing hobby into a full-time business, he turned to a familiar financial adviser for help. 

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Given the lack of access to capital in Indian Country, Indigenous entrepreneurs have fewer places to turn for help when it comes time to start or grow their businesses. 

In a growing number of communities across the country, Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are stepping up to fill part of that void.

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ALLIANCE, Neb. — Serial entrepreneur Edison Red Nest III elevated his family’s passion for movie nights to the next level. 

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. — After a year out of work due to a bad injury in 2005, Norman Kitchenakow lost his independent trucking business, his house and all the good credit he’d built up to that point in his life.

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Proposed bank regulatory changes could unlock new sources of capital in Indian Country and signal what Native advocates describe as “major progress” in their decades-long push for representation. 

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With this multimedia reporting project, Tribal Business News is examining the crucial role Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) play in supporting small business formation and growth in Native American communities. 

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A venture capital firm founded to invest in Black, Latinx and Indigenous technology startups has partnered with three tribes to create equity financing solutions that fit with tribal values. 

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TUBA CITY, Ariz. — Native American entrepreneurs face a chronic lack of access to capital. Whether it’s the lack of banks on reservation lands, a lack of eligible land as collateral, or a disconnect between Natives and traditional investors, many aspiring business people in Indian Country cannot access capital in the same way as less marginalized communities.