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ONABEN-­Our Native American Business Network was recently awarded several grants from a diverse group of sources. These funds will support a variety of programs, including expanded entrepreneurial development in Oklahoma and financial policy research and development.

Veronica Hix, Executive Director of ONABEN, is pleased with the addition of grant funds from the USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program and the Northwest Area Foundation’s Financial Inclusion Policy Action Initiative.

“The USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program will allow ONABEN to implement a series of business workshops to build micro-­enterprise, develop and grow loan portfolios and provide technical assistance to our partner tribes, the Cherokee Nation and Muskogee Creek Nation, in Oklahoma.”

ONABEN was also recently selected as one of seven participants to participate in a three-­year project funded by the Northwest Area Foundation and facilitated by the Corporation for Enterprise Development. This project, the Financial Inclusion Policy Action Initiative, will support ONABEN’s ongoing plans to grow our national presence as a service provider and voice for Indian Country. “It will allow us the opportunity to have wider and more comprehensive conversations with partners and collaborators on the real issues and barriers that face the communities, aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners, and native organizations that we serve,” states Hix.

Additionally, ONABEN received renewed funding from the Bank of America Foundation, Murdock Foundation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and the Administration for Native Americans. These funds will support ONABEN’s ongoing entrepreneurial programs, contract services development and entrepreneurial product development.

ONABEN Board Chair, Jack Lenox, is appreciative of the support from these private sector and federal sources. “ONABEN can continue to expand its work throughout Indian Country with these funds. The ability to increase economic opportunities for Indigenous people across the nation and for our organization to play an integral part in financial policy development is exciting.”

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