Profit Mastery Workshop: Lending in Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Country
"If anyone wants to start a business, or already has one, they can benefit from this class. It is a great tool for organizing finances; whether in trouble or not it's awesome to know where you stand or where to start," says a Native business owner who attended the Profit Mastery Workshop: Lending in Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Country, February 11th and 12th, 2014 in Crow Agency, Montana held at Little Big Horn College Library.
The course was about creating value and building wealth; teaching businesses to utilize financial statements as a management tool, using effective cost and pricing strategies, understanding and controlling patterns of cash flow and managing growth as well as how to deal successfully with banks. "This is a must to be successful," said another Native business owner. Twenty-nine Native businesses and entrepreneurs attended the workshop from the surrounding areas.
Shawn Backbone, Vice-Secretary of the Crow Tribe welcomed the Native business entrepreneurs along with Dr. Johnel Barcus, Executive Director, Montana Indian Business Alliance, provided an overview of the MIBA's mission and vision. Amita Patel-Greer, Director, Small Business Development Center, Montana CDC facilitated the Profit Mastery course.
Thirty-six participants attended the event with a majority representing Native small businesses and entrepreneurs from the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Indian Reservation. Bankers and lenders from surrounding communities participated in the panel discussion, led by Sharon Small, Executive Director, People's Partners for Community Development, of Lame Deer. Some of the questions she asked the panel presenters were: what does a successful client look like; what are the shortcomings in the loan information your clients are providing; what are the shortcomings of your clients in building a relationship with a lender and more importantly, what relationships does your organization have with other lenders to build your lending capacity?
The panel presenters included, Kim Cook, Loan Fund, Grants Manager, Native American Development Corporation, Billings, Barbara Braided Hair, Branch Manager, First Interstate Bank, Lame Deer, Yolanda Good Voice, Loan Fund Manager, Crow Tribe, Jilliann Knutson, Loan Officer, Beartooth RC&D Area and Holly Higgins, Commercial Lender, First Interstate Bank, Hardin.
Native business owners and entrepreneurs described what they learned in Profit Mastery, a Native business owner said, "Use it as a tool to evaluate numbers in my small business. Look at my business more positively accounting wise and step up and take more responsibility in my business." Another said, "Have a better chance of success for my business" and "I will use the training every day, especially the ratios, graphs, break even formula, and cash flow chart. Learning how to do these will help my business succeed."
The workshop was hosted by the Montana Indian Business Alliance and was made possible by a Northwest Area Foundation Grant, Chief Dull Knife College's Extension Office, Little Big Horn College, Native American Development Corporation, Billings, Crow Tribe EDA, Montana Department of Commerce, First Interstate Bank Foundation, First Interstate Bank (Hardin Lame Deer and Colstrip Branches) and Tongue River Electric Co-Op. Special acknowledgment to the Montana Department of Commerce for underwriting and supporting MIBA to provide Profit Mastery to its alliances. Thank you to all for making this event possible!
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