Learn How Native CDFIs Help Grow the Economy
Help Native communities build assets that can lead to self-sufficiency and long-term impact.
Native CDFIs build a powerful multiplier effect in tribal communities, creating jobs and self-sufficiency, which in turn leads to more stable and prosperous communities. Most Native CDFIs function as independent nonprofits—separate from tribal governments—and provide hard-to-gain access to credit, equity, and financial assistance, especially in rural communities.
“[We] invest in an individual to begin to build their capacity and their family wealth and assets. . . . That’s one of the reasons Native CDFIs are climbing off the [growth] charts.”
— Tanya Fiddler (Cheyenne River Sioux), Executive Director, Native CDFI Network
The loans and technical assistance offered by Native CDFIs help Native entrepreneurs and Native-led businesses thrive, which creates jobs, an expanded tax base, and new business development and market opportunities.
Meeting climbing capital demands in Indian Country.
Native communities are among the fastest growing segments of the United States economy, and the need for a loan to start up or expand a business or to buy a home is outstripping the financing available in markets served by Native CDFIs. Nationwide, financing demands are projected to double over the next five to seven years in Native communities.
A catalyst for economic growth, Native CDFIs are pressed to keep pace with the growing capital demands and needs for their services. The Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis led a survey  showing that as Native economies grow, Native CDFIs are being asked to respond to higher needs for capital. The additional amount to meet Native CDFI financing needs in 2017 was $48 million.
To do so, Native CDFIs will require stronger organizational structures, more advanced skills, and greater availability of technical assistance for entrepreneurs.
Here are some already-existing federal programs that cultivate growth for Native CDFIs.
A number of economic and community development programs can provide equity, loans, loan security, and other credit enhancements that support Native CDFIs’ work.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund (CDFI Fund) and its Native Initiatives program bolsters economic self-determination in Native communities through a variety of opportunities that foster Native CDFI/community bank partnerships  In many cases, banks with a Native CDFI in their assessment area could leverage public funds to support technical assistance, trainings, and more.
Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program (HUD) is a game changer for homeownership in Native communities. HUD can attract outside investments from financial institutions. It provides them with a 100% loan guarantee to assure investments held in Indian Country trust lands will be repaid in full in the event of foreclosure. 
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) encourages financial institutions to invest in Native CDFIs. Banks can choose to make a small dollar deposit (under $250,000) to a Native CDFI backed by FDIC insurance.  Credit unions participating in the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARS) can be insured if making a deposit over $250,000.