The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council has picked up a federal grant to help promote financial literacy and to help tribal entrepreneurs get businesses started.
Jeff Muse is a Deputy Director at the Council. The USDA competitive grant is for just under $100,000....
"....the money is used to work with individual tribes and also tribal members for education purposed in financial literacy and to be support for tribal members who may want to start up their own business...."
Muse says they help the budding entrepreneur through the initial portions of getting a business going..
"....one of the biggest things...especially living in the Northwoods is folks just don't know where to turn if they want to start a business...we're talking actual bricks-and-mortar businesses. We don't provide the funds for them but we bring them to the bank and help them with their business plans...."
He says one success story was a commercial fisherman near Bayfield who used the help offered by the program to get a fishing business going that now employs several people.
The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council involves 12 tribes, including Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Lac View Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Forest County Potawatomi and other state tribes. Its offices are in Lac du Flambeau.