Lending Services  •  IDA Program

Financial Education


Westwater Financial offers several development services to help clients build the capacity to be able to access capital and become successful borrowers once they have received a loan. A description of development services is below.

Personal Financial Management Workshops:  Westwater Financial offers personal financial management training using Building Native Communities Financial Education curriculum designed by First Nations Oweesta and Fannie Mae. Classes are free to Dry Creek Pomo attendees.  The class covers personal financial management topics including budgeting and saving, understanding a credit report, understanding banking services, and accessing credit. Instructors are required to be certified trainers in the curriculum. Class Schedule Here, Registration Here.


Business Plan Course:  Westwater Financial will offer a business plan development course for start-up and existing small businesses. The training will be held twice a year and the cost is $75 per person to help cover the cost of manuals.  The Indianpreneurship curriculum will be used. This curriculum was created by ONABEN and is designed specifically for Native entrepreneurs. It has been used by numerous Tribes and tribal communities across the country. The training comprises 11, three-hour sessions that guide students through the process of writing a business plan. The classes are group format and are designed to help participants think through their business idea as well as develop the financial and management skills they need to operate a profitable enterprise. The Development Services Officer will teach the course and bring in outside speakers with expertise to talk about specific topics such as legal, tax, and marketing issues. The curriculum is designed to make this classroom style teaching simple and effective with associated videos, etc. One-on-one sessions are available for existing small business owners.

One-on-one Technical Assistance (TA):  Westwater Financial offers free, confidential one-on-one technical assistance in the areas of loan packaging, business, personal financial management, and credit coaching to potential borrowers and those who have received loans. TA is provided both on a pre- and post-loan basis. These services can be particularly useful for clients who have little or no experience in preparing a loan application package or creating a business plan. We also offer an Indianpreneurship course to help clients build their business, learn the legal aspects of business, create a business and marketing plan and learn financial management for their business. Because each client is individual and in need of different services, our Development Services Officer will help identify resources for the client as well as provide guidance in business, personal financial management, and credit issues. The Executive Director and Development Services Officer may provide TA services, but will also refer clients to partner organizations including the local Small Business Development Center, the SBA SCORE office and Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Santa Rosa and Mendocino.

Individual Development Account Program:  Westwater has partnered with the Dry Creek Rancheria Housing Department to offer an IDA program to tribal members. Participants in the program are able to receive matched savings over a period of time which can be used for first-time purchase of a home, to start or grow a business, or gain a post secondary education. Participants are required to complete financial literacy training as well as asset-specific training, which will include either business plan training or homebuyer education. Westwater provides financial literacy classes and business plan classes, and the DCR Housing Department offers the homebuyer education classes. Please see the IDA Tab for additional information and forms.

For additional information as to our financial education resources, please contact Cindi Brown at (707) 419-3070 or at cindib@westwaterfinancial.org.

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