Aspiring entrepreneurs in Lac Seul now have access to micro loans though a peer lending circle administered by the Treaty #3 community’s Obishikokaang Development Fund (ODF).
“I see it being very successful,” said Lac Seul Chief Clifford Bull. “There is a lot of need for a lot of businesses to open, for example a tire repair shop, a small engine repair shop, maybe a hair salon, maybe even a laundry mat.”
Bull said community members are currently travelling to other communities to access these type of services.
“A lot of people have been going into town, Dryden and Sioux Lookout,” Bull said.
“Why not have it done right here? A lot of people do not have access to vehicles to go into town.”
Lac Seul received a $10,000 contribution from Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund, which was matched by another $10,000 from the ODF to establish the peer lending circle with $20,000 in start up funds.
“Access to capital is one of the main challenges Aboriginal business owners face, and it’s up to us as a leading Aboriginal financial institution to come up with creative ways to ensure these dynamic entrepreneurs get access to the financing they need,” said Colleen Martin, NADF’s general manager.
As an indigenous person raised in a remote First Nation and on the land I am very familiar with my cultural and traditional roots. It was a steep learning...