About the Building Native Industry Institute

In late 2013, Lakota Funds launched the Building Native Industry Institute, a program designed to help Native entrepreneurs on the Pine Ridge Reservation improve business skills through increased access to business education opportunities. Funded through the Administration for Native Americans, this three-year project will:

    • Facilitate at least 26 business education classes through 11 public access points.
    • Deliver business education training to at least 625 people.
    • Provide knowledge and information that will help create 60 new businesses.
    • Launch an online learning center with 24-7 access to business education classes.

2014 Course Catalog

The Building Native Industry Institute 2014 Course Catalog provides an overview of how to engage in classroom, live webinar, or online learning courses. It also provides a description of online courses that are currently available.

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Using the Building Native Industry Institute Online Learning Center

The Building Native Industry Institute Online Learning Center enables Native entrepreneurs to access a variety of business education courses, complete with videos and downloadable  worksheets, while overcoming common challenges, such as distance and time restraints, regularly related to accessing business education in rural areas. This online platform houses an abundance of virtual trainings designed to help improve skills in the areas of starting, growing, running, managing finances for, and marketing a business. Each course also incorporates a pre- and post-test so that entrepreneurs can gauge how they have improved their skills in the course matter.

How To Guides

We understand that aspiring entrepreneurs have varying levels of computer experience. To assist you in using the Building Native Industry Institute Online Learning Center, we have developed downloadable how-to guides that provide step-by-step instructions on setting up an account and taking a course.

Set Up an Account

Take an Online Course


Regional Partners

Lakota Funds knows that collaboration can increase the impact of our program success. We have applied this principle to the launch and implementation of the Building Native Industry Institute project by strategically engaging regional partners. These key partners have been critical to expanding the reach of the Building Native Industry Institute.


Four Bands Community Fund

Four Bands Community Fund, a nonprofit organization, continuously strives to create economic opportunity on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation by helping people build strong and sustainable small businesses and increase their financial capability to enter the financial mainstream. Our programs and services translate the traditional Lakota values of self-sufficiency, wise resource management, and a spirit of entrepreneurship into practical applications for today’s modern reservation community.

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Great Plains Native Asset Building Coalition

The Great Plains Native Asset Building Coalition was informally established in 2009 by a group of leading organizations and institutions in the Native asset building movement, many of who remain members of the Coalition today. The Coalition was formed on the principle of collaboration and was designed so that its members could leverage their collective experience and resources to positively affect the financial health of Native individuals, families, and future generations of the Great Plains region.

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Hunkpati Investments

It is the mission of Hunkpati Investments to support the financial stability of individuals,  families, and businesses on the Crow Creek Reservation through education, access to capital, and entrepreneurial development.

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Lakota Federal Credit Union

The Lakota Federal Credit Union provides savings accounts, loan products, and various convenience services to those that live, work, worship, volunteer, or attend school on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The Lakota Federal Credit Union’s mission is to provide quality financial services conveniently located at home on the Pine Ridge Reservation, in a helpful, professional and respectful manner and to provide effective tools for its members, the Oglala Lakota people, to save, plan, and provide for their futures.

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South Dakota Indian Business Alliance

The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance is a group of community partners committed to growing Indian business in South Dakota. Its mission is to enhance Indian business development by leveraging partnerships and resources of diverse institutions and organizations. SDIBA uses a comprehensive business development model that addresses four sectors – governance, infrastructure, finance, and resources – in order to develop sustainable businesses in Indian Country.

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