The Wind River Development Fund: Promoting Economic Development and Financial Stability in our Communities

    The Wind River Development Fund (WRDF) is a Native CDFI lending agency in Fort Washakie. The organization provides access to capital in the form of loan products. WRDF offers loans for  small businesses, business expansion, agriculture, home mortgages, and home improvement loans to individuals who live on or near the Wind River Indian Reservation. WRDF is focused on serving tribal members for both the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes and non-indigenous community members as well.

    What is the Wind River Development Fund?

    The Wind River Development Fund is a non-profit 501c3 lending agency established to provide access to capital for entrepreneurs who would have trouble obtaining access to capital elsewhere. The organization was founded in 2001 and has since been providing loans to businesses and individuals that are not able to obtain financing through traditional channels.

    The goal of WRDF is to promote economic development, self determination, sustainability and financial stability on Wind River Indian Reservation and surrounding communities. The organization offers a variety of loan products, including start-up loans, working capital loans, equipment loans, home mortgage and home improvement loans. 

    Along with lending, the WRDF provides technical assistance, personal support, training, and professional capacity in retaining, expanding and developing enterprises throughout Fremont and Hot Springs Counties. The WRDF offers financial education courses along with a variety of wrap-around services for clients.

    Where is the Wind River Development Fund?

    The Wind River Development Fund is located in Fort Washakie, Wyoming, at the Frank B. Wise building. The Frank B. Wise building serves as a community resource center and provides a variety of services to the Wind River Indian Reservation area. The center houses organizations such as Wind River Food Sovereignty, Central Wyoming College (CWC) extension office, American Legion, University of Wyoming (UW) extension office, Upward Bound, Red Feather Vocational Rehab, Centsible Nutrition, Wind River Start up Challenge, WRDF and two conference rooms. The Frank B. Wise building serves as a hub for economic development activities in the region. Feel free to stop by the building anytime Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00 to visit with any of the organizations onsite. 

    How does the lending process work?

    The lending process at WRDF is designed to be accessible, supportive and hands on involvement with the staff. The organization offers loans with low interest rates and flexible repayment terms. The first step in the process is to submit an application, which can be done online or in person.

    Once the application is received, the WRDF team will review it then contact the borrower to confirm eligibility, ask further questions, and may request other documentation. The completed application package will then be processed and underwritten to be presented to the loan committee for approval. The loan committee consists of three WRDF board members who vote to approve or deny the request. After loan committee approval, any further requirements, like appraisals or technical assistance, must be completed and the loan can be closed and funds disbursed.

    The Wind River Development Fund serves community members within Fremont and Hot Springs Counties. The organization is committed to promoting economic development and financial stability in the region and believes that access to capital is a critical component of achieving those goals. One misconception about WRDF lending is that funds are designated to only Native Americans. WRDF’s target population is the Native American community however, a limited amount of funds are available for the non-native population. The organization’s mission is to help the community generate economic development and self determination using a holistic approach. 

    The WRDF team works closely with borrowers to provide personalized service and direct support throughout the lending process. The WRDF team looks forward to cultivating long lasting, personal relationships with all their customers and partners within the community.

    The Wind River Development Fund is a vital resource for economic development on the Wind River Indian Reservation area and Fremont and Hot Springs Counties. The organization provides access to capital and support services that are critical to promoting self-determination, sustainability, community development and financial stability. The WRDF team is dedicated to serving the needs of the community and helping borrowers achieve their goals.

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