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Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification Provides More Financing and Support Resources to Low-Income Businesses and Individuals

Aug 31, 2023

There are over 1,000 certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) across the nation, all of which work to promote economic revitalization and community development in low-income, disadvantaged, and underserved communities. Among those is Dakota Business Lending (DBL), who became certified in 2022.

This certification has allowed DBL to continue providing additional access to capital and business support services to small businesses across their footprint of North Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota.

The goal of DBL’s CDFI program is to “help business owners create what they want, in the place they want, within the means they have.”

This means filling the gap through specialized lending and business education programs for businesses who lack access to capital or needed resources due to low-income challenges (low credit, insufficient collateral, low capital for down payment), lack of knowledge or education (lower financial literacy, lack of support/business network), and lack of loan support.

Low-income business owners OR businesses that provide products or services to underserved populations qualify for DBL’s CDFI programs.

The CDFI team at DBL, led by Michaela Schell, Entrepreneurial Development Director, and Emily Schroeder, Community Lending Director, has been working to develop a strategic approach, solidify the necessary partners and resources, and begin providing access to capital to business owners.

If you have any questions about the CDFI programs or are wondering if you qualify, contact Michaela ( or Emily (

Stay tuned for more exciting news about DBL, their CDFI programs, and resources for business owners…coming soon!

For more information, visit DBL’s CDFI webpage.