THUNDER BAY, ON - January 26, 2012 - Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) has partnered with Lac Seul First Nation through the Obishikokaang Development Fund (ODF) to provide micro loans to aspiring entrepreneurs in Lac Seul First Nation.
“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.” says NADF General Manager Colleen Martin.
The micro-lending initiative is just one of many ways NADF seeks to empower northern Ontario’s growing Aboriginal population through entrepreneurship.
Through its partnership with FedNor, NADF is able to provide commercial loans, grants, property appraisals, business counseling, community strategic planning and advisory services in mining and energy to First Nation communities across northern Ontario.The funds will be provided jointly by NADF and ODF, and will be accessible to entrepreneurs in Lac Seul through a peer lending circle administered by ODF.
This initiative comes at a time of increased demand for Aboriginal business services in the region. NADF recently increased its loan limit in response to growing demand for capital amongst small to mid-size business owners and an average loan has helped create 2.3 full-time jobs.
Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund is a non-profit economic development organization providing loans, equipment leases, appraisal services, grants, community strategic planning, business counseling and mining/resource development advisory services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs on and off-reserve across northern Ontario. For more information, please visit www.nadf.org
About Lac Seul First Nation
Lac Seul is a First Nation community with roughly 1500 members located approximately 600 kilometers North West of Thunder Bay with road access from Sioux Lookout. Land wise, Lac Seul is one of the largest reserves in Treaty #3, with a land base bound to the north and east by Lac Seul Lake and is made up of three communities: Kejick Bay, Whitefish Bay, and Frenchman's Head. For more information on Lac Seul First Nation, please visit http://lacseul.firstnation.ca