April 13, 2024

The Opportunity Project Finds Ways to Funnel Investment to American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

In partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), TOP teams used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies and worked over the course of 12 weeks to come up with ways to funnel more capital and investment to Indigenous communities and improve their representation in federal datasets.

Each year, TOP collaborates closely with federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to identify pressing challenges facing communities across the United States that can benefit from new, accessible data-driven tools.

This TOP challenge was a timely one. According to a 2019 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) survey [PDF 2.2 MB], more than a quarter of American Indian and Alaska Natives live in poverty and almost a fifth do not have any type of checking or savings account.

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TOP initiatives including this challenge will be presented at the Census Open Innovation Summit 2024 January 17 to January 19. TOP brings together government, technologists and community groups to rapidly prototype digital products using federal open data. In this sprint, teams had the opportunity to work alongside leaders from Indigenous communities to create solutions. Many focused on Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) key to increasing access to capital, credit and financial services in these communities.

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