Woman- and Native-owned Pine Ridge business expands with a business loan from Lakota Funds to offer filtered drinking water to local businesses and residents. Read the story in the Summer 2013 newsletter.
Starting out as a micro lender modeled after the Circle Banking Project in Bangladesh, we began little by little helping entrepreneurs on the Pine Ridge Reservation realize their dreams through $500 loans. At this time there were only two Native American-owned businesses on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Eighty-five percent of our clients never had a checking or savings account; seventy-five percent never had a loan; and ninety-five percent had no business experience.
Read our Best Practices Guide for insight to the Lakota Funds history, products and services, and strategies for success as never seen before.
In addition, Lakota Funds continuously strives to improve our products and services to best meet the needs of our target market. In 2012, we commissioned First Nations Oweesta Corporation to conduct an in depth market study, which revealed there is a strong market demand but many barriers that prevent a rapid pace of business start-up and expansion. Download the 2012 Lakota Funds Market Study.
While many of our accomplishments may seem great, Lakota Funds has only begun our journey of transforming the economic landscape on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There are still only 13 businesses per 1000 reservation residents, compared to 83 businesses per 1000 people in the rest of South Dakota. Unemployment is estimated in the 80% range, and Shannon County maintains one of the highest poverty levels in the nation. With the help of valued funders, investors, and community members we continue to strive towards a thriving economy.