November 9, 2020 – USDA Rural Development, through the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG), has granted $64,188 to Strengthen ND to assist North Dakota’s Five Native Nations and tribal members with growing a sustainable and strong economy by starting and growing businesses and Tribal capacity, both on and off reservations.
Strengthen ND’s project, titled Building Native Enterprises, invests time and resources into capacity building to implement stronger economic development strategies by starting and growing Native American businesses involved in providing tourism and travel-related products and services, including scenic tours, retail, arts and culture enterprises. Not only is tourism the third largest economic driver in North Dakota, it is also the greatest opportunity to diversify the economic base of Native Nations and develop a strong regional economy, able to weather any upcoming economic storms.
“With the funding provided by USDA, Strengthen ND is able to provide one-on-one technical assistance for Native-led nonprofits, Native-owned small businesses, and tribal governments to create a more sustainable economy,” remarked Stacey LaCompte, Indigenous Communications & Tribal Advocate of Strengthen ND. “Additionally, we will be working with Native and non-Native agencies to cultivate stronger relationships and effective communications by leading workshops to build a bridge of communication in education and awareness between Native and non-Native cultures.”
The grant funds received from USDA Rural Development have been matched by Strengthen ND, growing the size of the project’s investment in North Dakota’s Native Nations to a total of $90,954.
“With these funds, Stacey’s incredible work with Tribal Leadership, Tribal members, on and off Tribal lands, and key partners and resources is able to be expanded and easily accessed by individuals, businesses, and nonprofits in need,” remarked Megan Laudenschlager, Executive Director of Strengthen ND. “We are so excited to see the impact of this project as it unfolds.”