Icahya Woecun means The Place to Grow in Lakota.

This phrase is central to the work of Four Bands Community Fund, a Native community development financial institution (CDFI) on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Icahya Woecun encapsulates Four Bands’ Theory of Change, an integrated approach to entrepreneurship and asset building that has helped strengthen its community for nearly two decades.

The Theory of Change model is rooted in education, finance, incubation, and advocacy. For example, Four Bands works with Native entrepreneurs like Cheryl DuPris, who went through a financial education course, developed a strategy, and got funding to open a food truck in Eagle Butte, SD, the first Native-owned business along the town’s Main Street.

Four Bands is also breaking ground on a business incubator located in a 5,000-square-foot space with enough room to hold 11 new businesses. The incubator will allow many people in Four Bands’ loan pipeline to test their entrepreneurial projects and get their foot in the door as entrepreneurs.

See the full Four Bands profile to learn more about its holistic Theory of Change model that cultivates Native entrepreneurs and communities.