Ecosystem Building Portfolio
Native Women Lead, October 2017 to present, was co-founded by Vanessa Roanhorse and 7 other Native American women leaders to address the lack of accessible and culturally relevant resources and tools designed for indigenous women in business. Native Women Lead hosts the annual Native Women’s Business Summit, connecting 1,000+ indigenous and Native American women to build power, and community to revolutionize systems so more women move into leadership and CEO positions. Native Women Lead is a national movement addressing the racial and gender wealth gaps in the United States. RCLLC supports fundraising and access to capital initiatives.
New Mexico COVID19 Resources for Native Communities, March 2020 to present, is a “map” designed to showcase the existing resources that are available or targeted to tribes and/or Native serving organizations for COVID-19 relief in New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. The goal is to show that there are existing organizations and groups who are coordinating relief efforts for our Native communities and that these are the groups that should be supported and where possible, invested in. Additionally, the list includes emergency relief funds from across New Mexico and information on how to access them. This map is a foundation for how to support Native-led, grassroots, and frontline organizations now and into the future.
Color Theory, January 2019 to present, is a collaboration of organizations supporting entrepreneurs of color and their families in the City of Albuquerque. Color Theory exists to build a shared ecosystem of resources and support for these entrepreneurs with a focus on Spanish speaking and Indigenous peoples. RCLLC works as a connector to Indigenous networks as well as the broader capital access and national networks through mapping, presenting and modeling examples of fund designs and tech-enabled solutions for the collective to create the Color Theory infrastructure.
City Navigators, 2016 to present, is a City of Albuquerque initiative to support small business owners in disinvested communities who face barriers of culture, language and geography to connect and access resources by taking the resources out of the physical in stitutions and bringing them to where they are. RCLLC has designed and administered this program for 3 years, originally to address a Bus Rapid Transit project along the City’s Historic Route 66, to keep small businesses open. As a result, this program has served over 400 entrepreneurs, providing over $600,000 in small business loans and created a city-wide effort in which multiple organizations are launching a coordinated navigator program for overlooked entrepreneurs. RCLLC is a lead partner working to grow capacity within each organization and provide a systems approach to building a sustainable program that will leverage public and private investments.
Capital Access Portfolio
Co-op Capital, 2016 to present, pilot is a Nusenda Credit Union initiative to pilot relationship-based lending for low wealth and communities of color unable to access formal financing. RCLLC has been designing this effort, co-creating the framework to bridge borrowers, grassroots organizations, the credit union, and national credit union associations to push at the boundaries to redefine what a high-risk borrower looks like. RCLLC is working with frontline organizations, serving the states of New Mexico, Arizona, and the sovereign nations across New Mexico and Arizona to invest over the next 5 years. Since launching, nearly $1MM in co-op capital loans have been lent with a less than a 2% default rate.
Matriarch Revolutionary Fund, September 2019 to present, RCLLC is helping Native Women Lead create the Matriarch Revolutionary Fund, a first of its kind, to support Indigenous women in business to access the capital and receive the wraparound support to grow companies addressing our most salient challenges. RCLLC is supporting the effort to launch and raise $10M in 2022, to develop an investment portfolio and waterway program nationally for Native women entrepreneurs with growth-stage companies.
Evaluation & Research Portfolio
Networks and Structural Racism in Rural America, 2021 to present, is a Robert Woods Johnson Foundation funded exploration with network design partner, Pete Plastik and Ullman Consulting, to identify potential for a network design to support organizations on the ground doing active organizing and work to address structural racism in rural and tribal America. Project is using emergent design practices as well as Indigenous evaluation frameworks to create a process to research and learn from leaders. RCLLC team is helping to frame design, and process.
Co-op Capital Evaluation Implementation, 2021 to present, is a Nusenda Credit Union initiative with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Albuquerque Community Foundation, National CDFI, and the Small Business Administration to test relationship-based lending for low wealth and communities of color unable to access formal financing. RCLLC led the development of an evaluation plan for managing key partner evaluation expectations and created a plan that will be the foundation for future evaluation of the project. In Summer 2021, RCLLC will implement the first phase of the evaluation plan.
Seattle Urban Native Nonprofit (SUNN) Collaboration, 2021 to present, is a collaborative of 11 Native-led organizations working to build collective power in partnership with their Seattle-King County Native community through Native leadership and policy advocacy to advance health, well-being, and inherent responsibilities. In partnership with the Native-owned Against the Current Consulting, RCLLC is working closely with SUNN members to co-design and implement a culturally responsive evaluation of its knowledge, skills, and capacity to build collective power across King County.
Foodcorps, March 2020 – September 2020, is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to work with communities to connect kids to healthy food in school. FoodCorps places service members in limited-resource communities. RCLLC, in partnership with Hilltop Public Solutions, implemented a culturally responsive evaluation of their strategic partnerships with Indigenous communities to help them better understand how they could enhance and adapt their partnership approach to meet the needs of and strengthen impact in Native/Indigenous communities. This work included qualitative interviews and working closely with an Advisory Committee.