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Custom Investment Case Study: How a 50K Loan Unlocked $500,000 for Native American Natural Foods

Custom Investment Breakdown

The Challenge
In recent months, Native American Natural Foods (NANF) experienced an influx of orders and did not have enough working capital to be able to fulfill them. NANF had previously secured a revolving line of credit with a lending institution — Native American Bank — that had a 90 percent guarantee from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. However, the remaining 10 percent of the loan was required prior to NANF being able to draw on the revolving line of credit. In this case, Native American Bank needed a partner willing to accept the risk of a $50k unsecured loan in order to release the full $500k that would help NANF finance its growth.

The Opportunity
The 3:23 Fund, an ImpactAssets client, saw an opportunity to use philanthropic capital through their ImpactAssets Donor Advised Fund account to bridge the $50k gap. The 3:23 Fund sourced and recommended this investment, and ImpactAssets then executed the deal with Native American Bank.

The Solution
By working closely with Native American Bank, ImpactAssets was able to approve, facilitate and fund the Custom Investment within weeks of receiving the recommendation from the client. This innovative use of catalytic capital allowed NANF to unlock the full amount of $500k, continue production and work towards fulfilling their mission. Plus, once NANF has paid back the loan with interest, that’s more capital that can be reinvested and granted.


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“This opportunity to participate in a loan for Native American Natural Foods was made very easy for us through ImpactAssets. Their partnership in managing the transaction and monitoring the investment going forward has been and will continue to be very helpful.”

— Ann Whittemore, Director of Impact Investments, 3:23 Fund

About the Investee

Native American Natural Foods (NANF) is a certified B-Corporation based on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Kyle, South Dakota. NANF is committed to innovating “new food products based on the traditional values of Native American respect of all living things.” The Tanka Bar, a traditional buffalo meat product, is NANF’s primary product and can be found in supermarkets around the country and is sold directly to consumers online.

Investment Opportunities

  • To provide much needed capital for NANF to meet demand and scale production.

Impact Goals

  • Healthy Lands: Buffalo foster biodiversity and carbon rich soil in the endangered prairie ecosystem.
  • Healthy People: Low-fat, protein-rich Buffalo can help reverse diet-related illness.
  • Healthy Economies: A buffalo economy can bring sustainable prosperity to reservations.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

“It’s wonderful to have partners who truly want to make an impact, who believe in us, and allow us to move forward in executing on our mission.”

— Dawn Sherman, CEO, Native American Natural Foods

Make An Impact

Impact investments are investments made into organizations and funds that generate measurable social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.

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