CDFI Impact Blog



Small Business Bakes Up Sweet Success in Shawnee Business Bakes Up Sweet Success in Shawnee<div class="ExternalClassBBA9ACCF7AD3406EB754CD92808B11F2"><p>Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (CPCDC) works to foster entrepreneurship and enhance economic development opportunities within the Potawatomi tribal community in Shawnee, Oklahoma. <a href="/Documents/Cake%20Appeal%20NACA%20Impact%20Story%20052517.pdf" target="_blank">Read the full story here</a>.</p></div>2017-05-25T16:40:00ZLocal Impact27GP0|#166f18a8-7812-400a-bef0-da63deb924cc;L0|#0166f18a8-7812-400a-bef0-da63deb924cc|Oklahoma;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9;L0|#0c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9|Native Initiatives
Program Notes: Inside the New CDFI Program Application Evaluation Process Notes: Inside the New CDFI Program Application Evaluation Process<div class="ExternalClass2FF7A4CD3CB74E8FA0BC846317A09164"><p>Over the past few months, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) Director Annie Donovan and members of the CDFI Fund’s staff have been talking a lot about the CDFI Fund’s five-year Strategic Plan, which will guide the CDFI Fund’s program and administrative decisions in pursuit of greater economic and community development opportunities for low-income communities. The very first goal of the Strategic Plan, to increase the impact of CDFIs by supporting their growth, reach, and performance, has already made a significant difference in how the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program) team is handling the application process. </p><p>For the fiscal year (FY) 2017 application round, the CDFI Program and NACA Program team made extensive changes to the Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance applications to encourage greater growth and performance from CDFIs. We’ve discussed the changes to the applications previously, and you can read <a href="/Documents/FY%202017%20CDFI%20NACA%20Programs%20In-Person%20Application%20Workshop_508.pdf" target="_blank">more about those changes here</a>. But something we haven’t talked about as much are the changes we’ve made to our application evaluation process this year. </p><p>When evaluating the CDFI Program and NACA Program applications this year, we plan to both look at the strength of the applicant’s business plan and to require that award recipients commit to achieving at least one of the following four Financial Assistance Objectives: </p><ol><li><p>Expand operations into a new investment area or areas.</p></li><li><p>Serve a new targeted population or populations. </p></li><li><p>Provide new products or services.</p></li><li><p>Increase volume of products or services.</p></li></ol><p>Further, highly qualified applicants will be assessed on the extent of economic distress in the areas they are serving; the extent to which their activities have expanded, or will expand, economic opportunities; and the extent to which the applicant will collaborate with their community and increase its resources though collaborations and partnerships. These criteria will affect the size of an organization’s award. Our primary objective is to let successful CDFI Program and NACA Program awardees maintain their flexibility to respond to local needs with market-driven solutions, but in a way that also encourages growth and expansion to the communities that are most in need of investment.</p><p>As a result of all of the changes to the application, the evaluation process looks different this year than it has for previous rounds. The application evaluation and award selection process for the FY 2017 round consists of five steps:</p><ul><li><p>Step 1: Eligibility Review, conducted by CDFI Fund staff.</p></li><li><p>Step 2: Financial Analysis, conducted by external reviewers.</p></li><li><p>Step 3: Business Plan Review, conducted by external reviewers.</p></li><li><p>Step 4: Policy Objective Review, conducted by CDFI Fund staff.</p></li><li><p>Step 5: Award Amount Determination, conducted by CDFI Fund staff.</p></li></ul><p>We have provided additional information about each of these evaluation steps in our <a href="/Documents/FY17%20Financial%20Assistance%20Evaluation%20Process%20Cleared%203.24.17.pdf" target="_blank">CDFI Program and NACA Program Financial Assistance Evaluation Process document</a>, available on the CDFI Fund’s website. I’d encourage you take a moment to look at the new process as the CDFI Fund spends the next few months reviewing the FY 2017 applications. </p><p>For more information about the CDFI Program and NACA Program, please visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. </p><p><i>Amber Kuchar-Bell is the Program Manager of the CDFI Program and NACA Program.</i></p> </div>Amber Kuchar-Bell2017-07-06T18:00:00ZPrograms and Initiatives33GP0|#0760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1;L0|#00760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1|CDFI Program;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9;L0|#0c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9|Native Initiatives
Thinking Local: Native CDFIs Support Businesses, Growth in South Dakota Local: Native CDFIs Support Businesses, Growth in South Dakota<div class="ExternalClass86F6364860BC4C68A1482BAE4F2D2C7F"><p>Just a few weeks after I joined the CDFI Fund as a Senior Portfolio Manager for the Native Initiatives program, I had the honor of accompanying CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan as she traveled to the Cheyenne River and Pine Ridge Indian Reservations in South Dakota. While in South Dakota we had the chance to experience first-hand the important work that the <a href="" target="_blank">Four Bands Community Development Fund (Four Bands)</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Lakota Funds</a>—both certified CDFIs--were doing to increase opportunities in their communities through financial education services, small business lending, entrepreneurship training, and much more. </p><p>Four Bands and Lakota Funds are both multiple award recipients in the Native Initiatives program, which was designed to strengthen the institutional capacity of Native CDFIs to increase access to capital and credit in Native communities. Through the program, the CDFI Fund invests in organizations that, through their local and cultural knowledge, are able to provide services and products that are best suited to Native American populations across the country. As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an individual who has spent his career working on behalf of Native communities, I have personally experienced the positive effects that occur when federal initiatives designed to support Native Americans provide them the flexibility to find the right solutions for their local economies. </p><p>Throughout our trip, Annie and I met several entrepreneurs and individuals who had turned to Four Bands and Lakota Funds for help in launching their businesses and building their financial capacity, often after being turned away by traditional financial institutions. As the authors of a recently published report, “<a href="/programs-training/Programs/native-initiatives/Pages/native-communities-study.aspx" target="_blank">Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities</a>,” found, many Native entrepreneurs experience difficulty accessing traditional sources of capital and credit, which creates additional barriers to starting or expanding a business. Historically, Native CDFIs have helped fill the gap in access to capital and credit by providing relatively small, but necessary, loans to individuals and businesses. In South Dakota, successful business owners, like Jerry Farlee of 4 Winds Lumber and Warren Peterson of The Pizza Shoppe, were able to start and expand their businesses due to support from Four Bands and Lakota Funds. Both owners expressed that Four Bands and Lakota Funds were essential in providing the financing and development services necessary to develop their businesses.</p><p>In turn, these business owners are giving back to their communities in ways that will benefit future generations. For example, 4 Winds Lumber is currently providing young men with the opportunity to hone their carpentry and construction skills. Warren Peterson has a dream of one day employing as many people from his community as he can. These are the types of changes that Native CDFIs can make in their communities. A simple loan or financial education course can ultimately lead to developments that positively affect multiple generations.</p><p>I’m glad that I had the opportunity to visit Four Bands and Lakota Funds, it gave me a better understanding of the work that Native CDFIs do to effect change on the ground. I have no doubt that the experience will help me as I seek to support the Native CDFI industry through my work at the CDFI Fund. </p><p><i>Clint Hastings is a Senior Portfolio Manager for the CDFI Fund’s Native Initiatives </i></p> </div>Clint Hastings2017-09-25T15:33:00ZLocal Impact36GP0|#e9712537-9411-4bae-9528-c7186f7c273a;L0|#0e9712537-9411-4bae-9528-c7186f7c273a|South Dakota;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#12da016b-d497-4568-a2bf-23bc3f22d03c;L0|#012da016b-d497-4568-a2bf-23bc3f22d03c|Native Communities;GP0|#6739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7;L0|#06739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7|In the Field;GP0|#c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9;L0|#0c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9|Native Initiatives