Indianpreneurship Graduation

On August 4th the Northwest Native Development Fund graduated 8 individuals from the 2019 Indianpreneurship course in Omak Washington. 

Indianpreneurship is the small business planing course that was created by ONABEN specifically for Indian Country. This course uses the “story telling” technique to teach people how to research, analyze and then share their particular business “story” or “plan.”



NNDF Receives $770,000 Award from U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund



CONTACT: Ted Piccolo

September 20, 2018                                                   (509) 633-9940


Coulee Dam Washington – The Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF) learned yesterday that they will become the recipient of a $770,000 award for the expansion of services and to increase the volume of their small business lending. The NNDF will use the $770,000 award as seed to grow their lending capital fund and increase the current portfolio to $5 million dollars by the year 2020.

“We are happy, humbled and excited that the CDFI Fund saw fit to invest in our little company,”said Ted Piccolo NNDF Executive Director. “We have already provided over $3 million dollars in small business financing and this award will help us leverage to larger financing dollars in order to fuel small businesses in Eastern Washington.”

The NNDF provides credit builder loans for people who are struggling to increase their credit scores while avoiding predatory lending operations. They also provide free family budgeting workshops, small business marketing workshops and an extensive business planning course. All of this financial education is tied to over $3 million dollars in small business financing and over $100,000 in consumer/credit builder lending.

The CDFI Fund’s Native Initiatives generates economic opportunity for Native Communities by supporting the creation and expansion of Native CDFIs like NNDF though the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program) and Capacity Building Initiative trainings. The Native CDFIs, in turn, help to create jobs, establish or improve affordable housing, and provide accessible financial services and counseling within their communities.

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Put Your Name On A Great Evening!

Sponsor the Native Business Awards Gala


Come and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Northwest Native Development Fund and sponsor a wonderful evening of music, arts and small business recognition.

On September 14th the NNDF will be hosting our 4th annual Native Business Awards and celebrating the Native Business Network. Each year we take notice to honor three special awardees.

  • Eagle Award (Native Business Of The Year)
  • Salmon Award (Native Purchaser/Supporter Of The Year)
  • Bear Award (Native Business Advocate Of The Year)

We will also be recognizing award winning Native Artists from throughout the year and welcoming Raye Zaragoza as special musical entertainment for the evening.

We at the NNDF thank you for your consideration of being a proud sponsor of the 3rd Annual Native Business Awards Gala and Art Auction. Your support for this event will help build, promote and celebrate the growing Small Business community within Indian Country of Washington State.

Eagle Sponsor $2,500:

  1. Will receive all of the benefits of the Salmon Sponsor, PLUS;
  2. Live recognition from the emcee of the event on the evening of the event;
  3. A table (Seating 10)

Salmon Sponsor $1,500:

  1. Salmon Sponsor will receive a minimum of three weekly expressions of appreciation in NNDF social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter);
  2. A footnote of thanks and appreciation on all emails delivered regarding the event, before and after the gala;
  3. A mention in any materials that are printed from the time sponsorship is confirmed up to the time of the event and to include any relevant post event publications;
  4. Logo and company name in printed materials distributed at the event;
  5. Logo and company name included in video presentation at the event.

Bear Sponsorship $1,000:

  1. Bear sponsor will receive a minimum of a once weekly expression of appreciation in NNDF social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter);
  2. Logo and company name in printed materials distributed at the event;
  3. Logo and company name included in video presentation at the event.

Hummingbird Sponsorship $500:

  1. Initial thanks for sponsorship in NNDF social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter);
  2. Logo and company name in printed materials distributed at the event.
  3. Logo and company name included in the video presentation at the event.

Please contact Damaris Ortiz at (509) 633-9940 or email  If you would like your logo to be presented in the materials, please be sure to have your marketing department include them in your email to us along with something wonderful we can say about your organization in the video presentation!


The NNDF is a 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation and all contributions are tax deductible

504 Fir St. Coulee Dam WA, 99116 – (509) 633-9940 –

NNDF Announcing Raye Zaragoza to perform live at September Gala

The NNDF can proudly announce that Raye Zaragoza will be performing live at the 4th annual Native Business Awards Gala and Dinner on September 14th 2018. This annual event will also mark the 10 year anniversary of the Northwest Native Development Fund.

Please mark your calendars for September 14 and be sure to come and join us as we celebrate the Native Small Business of the year, outstanding Native artists and ten years of NNDF.

Tickets can be purchased online HERE for $20. They include dinner, artists evening, entertainment, awards ceremony and networking.

Raye Zaragoza is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and performer whose multinational heritage (Native American (O’odham), Mexican, Taiwanese and Japanese) deeply informs her music. This perspective can be heard in her independently released song “In the River,” a response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. The quiet yet powerful track resonated strongly with listeners and went viral in late 2016, garnering half a million views on the video, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar.

Raye’s debut album, Fight For You (independent, 2017), displays her compassion, dedication to justice and equality for all, and keen eye for the seemingly small daily moments that become our most meaningful memories. About the record, Raye says, “This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It’s about maturing and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose.”

NNDF Featured in Wells Fargo Annual Report

One of our funding partners, Wells Fargo Bank, has highlighted their relationship with the NNDF in their annual report. This is a very significant document and it is truly an honor to be noticed not just once but TWICE in their annual report.

Note on page 2 there is the picture of the owner of Red Willow Cafe’ and then again on page 32 there is a story about the NNDF relationship with Red Willow and some more pictures.

Thank you Wells Fargo for your relationship and helping us to fund the dreams of Native Entrepreneurs in the great Pacific Northwest.

See the full report HERE.

The full url address is here:

The Making Of A Loan Decision

We at the NNDF look at a number of things when we make a decision to fund a loan application or not to fund a loan application. These things are generally called the C’s of credit.  Each “C” is weighted differently depending on the circumstances, however as a rule of thumb, all are taken into consideration and the stronger you are at each point the more likely the applicant will be successful at receiving funding.

Many lending institutions call them the 5 C’s of credit. They are: Credit History (character), Capacity, Collateral, Capital and Conditions.

Due to the unique nature of our region and history, we have narrowed this process down to what we call the 3 C’s. They are: Character, Capital/Collateral and Cash Flow (Capacity).

  • Character: This is just what it sounds like. This is not always a simple monetary calculation although much of the weight of the character portion of a credit analysis can come from a credit report and time on a job or time a person has owned a business. However, there are some other questions we will take into consideration that will help us reach an assessment of a borrower for this portion of the decision. Some other considerations that my help us assess the honesty and reliability to pay a debt may be:
    • How have they used credit cards or other forms of high cost financing? Do they understand the costs and are they willing to change behavior if it will help them? (They are asking us to make a financial commitment to them, are they willing to make behavioral changes for us?)
    • Do they pay their bills on time? We will often ask other lenders to see if the potential borrower is timely.  Then, unlike outside institutions, we will usually weigh some extenuating circumstances.  Was there a wildfire? Flooding? Medical issues?
    • Have they been at the same job or owned their business for a long period of time? Occasionally, we can look at an applicant and see that they have been in business for quite a long time and had one “bad year” and can show a good explanation for that down year. Things happen… But do they “happen a lot?”
    • Often this is a place where NNDF has provided some financial education or coaching. We have many applicants who have never been taught the importance of establishing and maintaining a good credit history.  If they have not, we then look at the applicant/client and ask if they are willing to learn that importance and do the things they need to do to begin to build good credit “character.”
  • Capital/Collateral: This is often a portion that is the weakest with our borrowers. However, it is also an area in which we can work with the applicant. Historically asset creation has been difficult in Indian country due to various reasons that are not always the fault of our borrowers. However, we still have our loan policies to guide us and those policies dictate that we have security for our loans. The security, or assets or collateral, generally need to match the amount of capital that is sought for the length of time it is sought.  For instance; will the collateral’s value last the entire term of a loan. It would not be fair to NNDF or the borrower to lend money on security that will have lost all or most of its fair market value before the end of the term of the loan thus leaving the borrower to be paying on something after it has reached the end of its life span. Some questions about capital/collateral are;
    • What property do you own that can secure a loan?
    • Is there a savings account?
    • Equipment?
    • Accounts Recievable?
    • And finally, if they have the requisite number of months at the same job we can use payroll deductions as a form of collateral for smaller loans.


  • Cash Flow (Capacity): Now that we know the borrower has good credit history or “good financial character” and we have a reasonable sense of collateral the next question is “can the borrower repay the debt.” Often borrowers believe if they just had $X.XX of dollars more they can “fix” their situation. However, that is not always the case. Because the new NNDF debt could, in the long run, place the borrower in a worse cash flow position than when they first came to us. We also must look at whether the borrower will be able to stay in their position long enough to actually “service” (make the required payments on) the new debt.

Generally, this is a mathematical question.  Some questions we will ask of the borrower are:

  • Is your job steady? Or is your business going to last long enough to service the debt? There have been times we have made smaller loans with much shorter terms or (balloon) payments that match their job or contract. And of course, if it is a contract then the contract obviously had to be more than enough to service the debt obligation.
  • How many other loan obligations do they have? This is another issue that many borrowers overlook or upon which they do not place enough value. If an applicant has many loan obligations already and we are simply adding to the list we have to know that the addition of our loan obligation will significantly improve their ability to service their other obligations as well as ours. We would not be helping them (or us) if we have placed the borrower in a position to not be able to pay all their obligations.
  • What are their current living expenses? Even for a business loan decision we must look at the applicant’s current living expenses. If their living expenses cause too much of a drain from the business at what point are they forced to make decisions between paying business debts or maintaining a particular lifestyle? Often times this is another point of education for a client. Owning a business, or taking on a personal loan, often requires difficult life choices. “Can I keep doing some of the extra-curricular things I enjoy if my monthly income is diminished by these new loan obligations?”

Most lending institutions will require that their applicants meet or exceed all the needs of the 3 C’s.  We at the NNDF serve a much different market. Often, we can work with a borrower if they fall short in one of these points IF we can see that the other two items are solid, AND they are willing to take the necessary steps to overcome that one bad credit factor.  If we must overlook two or more credit points, then the loan becomes increasingly difficult if not almost impossible.

PO Box 154 – Coulee Dam WA 99116 – (509) 633-9940

Download a copy of this process by clicking this link: Making A Loan Decision

Order Up! Video

Major National Bank Recognizes NNDF and NNDF Client

Order Up!

Wells Fargo Bank Produces A Video Journal

Be sure to check out THIS wonderful video produced by one of NNDF’s partners, (Wells Fargo Bank) regarding one of our Native clients.

The story chronicles the path of Theresa Desautel as she became an entrepreneur on the Colville Indian Reservation and how the Northwest Native Development Fund has worked to help her finance, grow and sustain her enterprise.

The story also highlights the working relationship that the NNDF has with Wells Fargo Bank and how important it is to have good partners as we continue to grow our efforts

It is important on a day like today (Giving Tuesday) to show stories like this. The Northwest Native Development Fund is a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution. We work to bring financing into some of the most difficult regions of the Pacific Northwest. We take chances where other for-profit organizations cannot. We are truly thankful for the support we receive from organizations like Wells Fargo Bank and other.

Please take a moment to watch the video and if you believe that this is the kind of work that you can support then take another moment to make a tax deductible donation to the NNDF here or


NW Area Foundation Publishes Profile on NNDF

Theresa Desatuel Owner, Red Willow Cafe’

The Northwest Native Development Fund would like to sincerely thank the NW Area Foundation (NWAF) for believing in us and being such a wonderful sponsor for the last 5 years. Recently the NWAF came out to visit “The Little Loan Fund That Could” and interviewed some of our wonderful clients and staff. The result was this heartwarming story and picture profile.

It does our heart good to know that we can play even a very small role in helping these Native entrepreneurs. And of course there are so many other great stories here at the NNDF and no one can cover them all.

We need to thank all our entrepreneurs, clients, staff, Board members. There are so many people who pull together to make things happen that it could literally be a book or full featured movie.

See the full NW Area Foundation story HERE and be sure to like us on Facebook HERE to see future updates and press releases.

NNDF Receives $745,500 Grant;


September 20, 2017

US Treasury Awards $745,500 to Leverage NNDF Funds For Small Business Financing

Coulee Dam, Washington– This week, the U.S. Treasury Department awarded the nonprofit Northwest Native Development Fund, $745,500.  The grant award is funded from the Native American CDFI Assistance program, for certified Native Community Development Financial Institutions (Native CDFIs).

“The NNDF has received 7 NACA awards since 2009 and were certified in 2011,” said Ted Piccolo, NNDF Executive Director.  “These federal resources will go a long way to helping the NNDF expand our financing activities in Indian Country. With our focus on small business lending these funds will bring more dollars to the region.”

Out of 32 applications, 20 CDFI loan funds across the nation received NACA Financial Assistance Awards, totaling $12,964,998 to awardees in 15 states. The CDFI Fund reported that, including the Technical Assistance Awardees, a total of 33 loan funds, 1 credit union, and 4 sponsoring entities were awarded a total of $15,613,767.

“This is such a great accomplishment for the NDNF,” said Piccolo.  “This award will be leveraged with other funding sources to bring over a million more dollars in capital to address small businesses in 2018”.

This U.S. Treasury Grant award will leverage with other funds to boost the NNDF small business lending funds by over one million dollars. Currently the NNDF has almost $2 million dollars in it’s small business loan portfolio and this award will help build the portfolio to over $3 million.

The Northwest Native Development Fund seeks to foster economic and financial independence for Native people by assisting in the development of personal assets through financial and entrepreneurial education as well as providing access to capital through creative lending products. For more information on the NNDF, go to or call (509) 633-9940.