Native CDFI Practitioner Certification Program

Building capacity of organizations and people

Fundamentals Week Training

This four-day training will provide an overview of major components of running a Native CDFI. Training will include a general orientation day to the Native CDFI field; a day focusing on impact measures and evaluation, development services, and marketing; a day on evaluation of CDFIs, capitalization, and policy; and a day focusing on a lending overview, loan policies, procedures, and guidelines.

Financial Management Specialization Training

This three-day training will provide a more in-depth overview of financial management and accounting for Native CDFIs. This will include: an orientation to concepts day, where participants leave able to communicate with a finance person and build a foundation, as well as an overview of financial management activities and reading financial statements; a day where participants look at human resources related financial functions and tax documents, as well as continue discussions from the prior day; and the last day will look at grants management and additional financial management topics.

Lending Specialization Training

This three-day training will focus on lending and underwriting as a key function of a CDFI. Training will include: overview and best practices in lending; orientating to the lending and underwriting process; evaluating risk; loan application process; risk rating; fees; software options; case studies for lending; portfolio management; key ratios; loan monitoring; collections; collateral; loan performance; reporting; capitalization; expanding target market products, and special topics.

Development Services Specialization Training

This very interactive three-day training will help participants build effective training and technical assistance skills for providing development services (to accompany consumer, housing, and small business lending products) to their community and clients. Day 1 will cover planning and program development. Day 2 will cover products and training. And Day 3 will cover one-on-one TA. All days will have participants facilitating training or technical assistance in various situations they may face as practitioners.

Executive Development Specialist Training (includes a peer mentorship/cohort component)

This four-day training will only be offered to executive staff of Native CDFIs (or those whom the executive staff are building up for leadership positions), will include an interview process and Gallup Strength Based Leadership testing for training enrollment, and be more discussion based in design. This training will also foster a mentorship/cohort component among participants and may have a lower participant count to create a more trusting, intimate atmosphere for participants. Day 1 will look at: the role of the Executive Director; the importance of strategic/operational planning and succession planning; organizational development models for growth; board recruitment/management; engagement; Tribal politics or politics in general; and policy/human resources. Day 2 will explore capitalization planning and budgeting (including self-sufficiency, advanced capitalization for investments, secondary markets, NMTCs, and the Bond program) and Day 3 will look at leadership training and special topics (including: peer network building and organizational stability). Day 4 will close the training, looking at values, leadership types, organizational diagnostics, management strategies, and other topics as determined by participants.

We are also looking at developing additional specializations to fit the needs of Native CDFIs.


Oweesta Corporation
2432 Main Street, 1st Floor
Longmont, CO 80501

Oweesta is an equal opportunity employer and provider.


Oweesta is the longest standing Native CDFI intermediary offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities. Specifically, Oweesta provides training, technical assistance, investments, research, and policy advocacy to help Native communities develop an integrated range of asset-building products and services, including financial education and financial products.

Asset-building tools stimulate reservation economies by providing tribal members the opportunity to acquire financial management skills and build and accumulate assets through small business creation, homeownership, education, and much more.


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