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Indigenous-led organization creates business lending program for Native American entrepreneurs

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A new lending program by an Indigenous-led organization on the Navajo Nation aims to help Native American entrepreneurs access business financing.

Change Labs’ Kinship Lending program was developed in response to the pandemic when business owners on the Navajo Nation were facing closures and lockdowns.

In a press release, Change Labs’ director says traditional lenders require that a borrower has collateral, such as real estate, before lending. This puts many Indigenous borrowers at a disadvantage, since 90% of Tribal land is owned by the U.S. government which requires a lease to operate a business.

The Kinship Lending Program will select 20 borrowers to take part in a financial education course to learn about spending and setting goals around saving money.

Borrowers will also learn about filing taxes, creating a retirement account and how to register their business with the Navajo Nation and the state.

Applications accepted online through March 20, 2022 at: www.nativestartup.org/kinshiplending