The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 24, 2013

Loan program targets American Indian entrepreneurs


There are few signs of entrepreneurship on the Red Lake reservation, where about half of adults are unemployed. Most people buy what they need in Bemidji, 35 miles to the south.

The tribe launched a program last year to encourage would-be entrepreneurs, said Sharon James, the reservation's small business development manager. She is working with about a dozen people interested in starting businesses on the reservation. Most tribal members don't have the basic knowledge or the financial resources to get started, she said.

"They don't have the background that typical environment provides ... It's new to them as far as creating their business plan, knowing how to approach financing sources, and then being able to meet the criteria to get financing," she said.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News,

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