A Strategy for Economic Parity
Four Bands Community Fund is a nonprofit organization that was started in 2000 as part of a community and economic development movement on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. As a community loan fund (technically known as a community development financial institution, or CDFI) our original objective was to capitalize Native American-owned businesses on the Reservation.
When we began our work, less than 1% of all businesses on the Reservation were owned by Native Americans. However, 75% of the Reservation’s population is comprised of Native Americans. Since then, we have helped hundreds of Native American entrepreneurs start or expand a business. We began by making $500 loans, and today we have dispersed over $10 million in loans.
Creating Community Impact
Through the implementation of our strategic model, Four Bands has seen a transformation in the economic landscape on Cheyenne River and beyond. The following achievements are evidence of this transformation. Since inception in 2000 through 2019 year-end, Four Bands has:
- Provided 10,087 customers with technical assistance.
- Supported hundreds of individuals in various stages of business development through the deployment of 1,480 loans totaling $17,479,054.
- Approved 913 credit builder loans so that recipients could achieve an average credit score increase of 85 points within one year.
- Created or retained 921 jobs.
- Graduated 518 individuals from their business training course.
- Increased financial literacy of 904 individuals through training.
- Guided 99 individuals through actionable financial goals with a 91% achievement rate.
- Connected 260 youth entrepreneurs to local internship opportunities, 76% of whom seek post-secondary education.
- Committed $712,612 so that 485 matched savings program participants could reach a savings goal for homeownership, education, or business.
- Electronically filed 5,443 tax returns to produce a total federal refund of $11,213,605 to their community.