Following a hub-and-spoke model, Oweesta and twenty-seven Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) partners will provide training and technical assistance to Native businesses and entrepreneurs thanks to a $5M U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) grant, the Community Navigator Pilot Program.
The Program is designed to reduce barriers that underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs often face in accessing the programs they need to recover, grow, or start their businesses. Research shows that the amount of Native-owned business is scarce in today’s market due to structural barriers Native businesses and entrepreneurs face in business ownership and creation. Rooted within the communities, Native CDFIs are instrumental in reaching under-serviced Native communities and providing culturally relevant, economic development services.
Acting as a “hub,” Oweesta will serve as a centralized, lead organization and leverage our long-standing relationships with grassroots Native CDFIs as “spokes.” Through this model, government resources will be more effectively distributed to reach small business owners and entrepreneurs.