Entrepreneurs from Nine Tribal Nations Gather for Empowerment Workshop

Native360 Loan Fund hosted a Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshop in association with RedWind Group on April 1-2 in Carter Lake, IA. Many of the 17 attendees had extensive business experience, while others are still on the path to their dream of owning a business.

Native360 Executive Participates in Harvard Program

NeighborWorks America selected Pete Upton, executive director of Native360 Loan Fund Inc., was one of 45 leaders for the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The NeighborWorks program, sponsored in part by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, is an 18-month program that provides executives with skills to advance their organizations’ performance. Each participant identifies and clearly defines a specific challenge critical to their organization’s success then spends the program addressing that challenge.

Achieving Excellence includes three formal sessions at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, as well as one-on-one executive coaching and intensive peer learning.  The program kicked off at Harvard Sept. 11-15, and three additional meetings are planned across the country. Between academic sessions, participants worked on a goal critical to their organization’s success and worked closely with their executive coach and peer group.

“The Achieving Excellence Program gives leaders the tools to build stronger organizations—more engaged and results-oriented staff and board members working to increase their impact in the communities they serve,” said Christina Deady, senior director of leadership and workforce development at NeighborWorks America

Achieving Excellence has graduated nearly 400 executive directors, CEOs and other senior leaders since the program began in 2002. Independent evaluations have shown positive results for organizations that have participated in this program.

In an impact evaluation of a recent class of the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence Program, 72 percent created positive change in their communities, 77 percent raised staff performance and morale, and 100 percent improved organizational strength and results. For more information about the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence Program, go to www.neighborworks.org/ae.

About Native360 Loan Fund Inc.

Native360 provides affordable financial services to members of all tribes in Nebraska, Iowa and southeast South Dakota. It provides affordable credit, capital, technical assistance and related programs to help build strong and self-sufficient Native American business owners.

About NeighborWorks America

For nearly 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. (d/b/a NeighborWorks America), a national, nonpartisan nonprofit, has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to home ownership and safe, affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $34 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.


Wells Fargo Works for Small Business

Native360 Chosen to Receive Lending Capital and Grants

Native360 Loan Fund Inc., is one of 19 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)  to receive lending capital and grants from the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business Diverse Capital program.

Recipients were announced Dec. 6, 2018. Funds are used to deliver affordable financial products and technical assistance to diverse small businesses that  do not typically have access to conventional financing.

As part of its announcement, Wells Fargo said it wanted to be more inclusive of rural communities as well as their urban counterparts.

“Rural small businesses and their diverse owners have different challenges than their urban counterparts, and we want to be part of a solution that helps remove those obstacles to growth,” said Mike Rizer, director of community relations at Wells Fargo.

“The range of geographies served by these awardees demonstrates Wells Fargo’s commitment to supporting communities across the country, regardless of our retail presence’ he added. “Small business owners who would not otherwise have access to the resources needed to start or grow their businesses will now have resources through the CDFIs we are supporting.”


Pete Upton

Native360 Executive Director Pete Upton applauded Wells Fargo’s rural commitment. “Our service area includes Nebraska, Iowa and southeast South Dakota,” he said. “Access to affordable capital is just as vital in these areas as it is in more heavily populated areas. We very much appreciate our opportunity to participate in the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business Diverse Capital program.”




Free 2-Day Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshop

Aspiring Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner?

Attend a free 2-Day Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshop

April 1st & 2nd | 9 am – 4 pm

  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Omaha Airport 2210 Abbott Dr, Carter Lake, IA
  • Class materials & refreshments provided
  • Training by RedWind in Partnership with the Native360 Loan Fund – certified Native CDFI
  • Check out the Workshop Experience at www.nativesmallbusiness.org/inside_the_workshop



Brent Johnson

Native360 Loan Fund

Pete Upton

Native360 Loan Fund



Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshops are provided to native communities across the country through support from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA). ONAA contracted with RedWind to provide workshops through contract number: SBAHQ-17-F-0050.

Upton Helps Lead Native CDFI Conference

Native360’s Pete Upton joined Native American leaders from across the country Nov. 28-29, 2018, for the Native CDFI Network’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Native Artist Professional Development Training

The training was held at the Ohiya Casino & Resort, Niobrara, NE on May 5th – 6th, 2018. Our two-day Native Artist training was in associate with First Peoples Fund.

This training was designed for emerging and seasoned artists alike. This training gave artists real-world tools and detailed resources to navigate the arts industry and become successful entrepreneurs. The curriculum provided the foundation for a Native Artist businesses.

Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshop

Our entrepreneurial workshop was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Sioux City on September 20th & 21st. The workshop was designed for start-ups or small business look to expand. The training provided comprehensive information indispensable to entrepreneurs and covered topics such as business models, planning, access to capital, marketing, basic bookkeeping, break-even analyses, and problem solving.

Financial Peace University

This is a nine lesson course based on simple money-management strategies. We discuss the basics of saving, budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future and much more.

We conducted three financial peace university classes this past year. Our Omaha classes graduated November 13th, 2017 & March 5th, 2018 and our Norfolk Class October 30th, 2017.

Our course covered saving, relating with money, creating a cash flow plan, reducing debt, buyer beware, insurance, retirement and college planning & real estate.

Launch Box Native Small Business Workshop

This 5-Part Series was held at the Northern Ponca Housing in Norfolk, NE. Our entrepreneurial & small business series was developed for Native start-ups or existing business. Our team of professionals offered assistance in business plan preparation, accounting, taxes, legal, marketing, social media & employee training and development.

The series included Box of Chocolate Session – June 13th |Launch Box Session – July 12th |Shoe Box Session – July 25th Virtual Box Session – August 22nd |Treasurer Chest Session – September 19th