NORTHWEST NATIVE DEVELOPMENT FUND: How Native CDFI Partnership with National Banks Can Respond to Native Communities’ Needs for Capital and Culture
“We like to think that we are the glue that holds things together,” says Ted Piccolo (pictured above), director of Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF) in Coulee Dam, WA.
“We are the ones who can make connections between individuals and financial institutions and find creative ways to keep those relationships working.”
One of the institutions NNDF has a strong partnership with is Wells Fargo & Company. Connie Smith is program manager for the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Program, a three-year program providing lending capital to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) serving small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“We feel strongly about working with Native CDFIs,” she says. “They are definitely making a difference.”
ABOUT NATIVE CDFIs
CDFIs are private financial institutions dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending for underserved communities.
Native CDFIs are rooted in the cultural and historic context of Native communities and provide services that go beyond lending. They’re engines of change, expanding economic opportunity and opening doors to loans, credit, jobs, and much more.
“The thing about this model is that it’s sustainable. As entrepreneurs gain business knowledge, and as their businesses grow, they can seek funding from more traditional sources. To me, that is a compelling strategy.”
— Connie Smith, Program Manager, Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Program