Microenterprise Development 2023-2024

The Exchange Coffee and Kitchen

Bartlesville, OK

Rylea Bolton (Cherokee) and Albert Ducre “Chef Nook” (Cherokee)

Rylea and Chef Nook are the owners of The Exchange Coffee & Kitchen. They are inspired by hospitality and food, their favorite part about what they do is to educate people on the food that they make. They are seeking to expand their café into a full-service restaurant in Bartlesville, OK, serving thoughtfully prepared meals to the community. They will use the loan funds to market this new expansion and for much needed inventory.


Pawhuska, OK

Whitney Virden (Comanche)

Whitney Virden is the owner of Roots+Blooms. She is a passionate about cultivating and sharing the beauty of nature through daily designs & large-scale installations and draws inspiration from the rich traditions and vibrant colors of indigenous cultures. By teaching others about the beauty and symbolism of flowers, Whitney hopes to inspire a greater appreciation for nature and a renewed sense of connection to our roots. She will use the loan funds to market herself more fully as a native florist nationwide.

(Business Name Pending)

Kyle, SD

Danesha Zephier (Yankton Sioux Tribe)

Danesha Zephier is an enrolled member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a single mother, and a senior in college. Her dream is to start her own Native American regalia & jewelry-making business, with the goal of providing both traditional and contemporary regalia & jewelry for our youth, starting with jingle dresses for the girls and grass dance regalia for the boys. She plans to use the loan funds to purchase material to begin producing pieces to sell.

Tallchief Designs LLC

Bartlesville, OK

Dana Bean (Osage)

Dana Bear is the owner of Tallchief Designs LLC. She strives to use her herbal knowledge, full-spectrum doula and childbirth educator training alongside her degree in Native American studies to promote advocacy for women of color in her community. Dana’s business, Tallchief Designs LLC, has allowed her to merge her support of reproductive justice and love of nature with her culture and art. She plans to use the loan funds to further market her doula business, with an emphasis on providing natural solutions.

Charlie’s Lawn Mowing and Snow Removal Service

Kyle, SD

Chuck Hernandez (Oglala Lakota)

Larry Charles Hernandez “Chuck,” is the owner of Charlie’s Lawn Mowing and Snow Removal Service. It has dream of his to start his own business, which he was able to do thanks to a Vocational Rehab program that helped him get his lawn care equipment. He is now seeking to fully launch his business with the help of a work truck, which he will use the loan funds to purchase. This will allow him to meet an important niche in a community that has no other lawn service providers.

Cook Family Construction LLC

Pawhuska, OK

Jason and Ciaradon Cook (Osage)

Cook Family Construction LLC is a faith and family first company, owned by husband and wife Jason and Ciaradon Cook. Leveraging Jason’s 20 plus years of HVAC and sheet metal experience and Ciaradon’s management experience, the couple hope to build an HVAC company that works from the principals and respect and quality service. As the company grows, they hope to successfully bid on large projects for tribes around Oklahoma. They will use the loan funds to purchase equipment and material to launch their business.

Makatakiya (towards the Earth)

Kyle, SD

Sharifah Ferguson

Sharifah Ferguson is the owner of Makatakiya (towards the earth). Using her background in clothing design, Sharifah’s company will offer beautifully designed traditional and modern clothing, with a focus on the use of sustainable materials. She is seeking to launch this new venture so that her community will have access to well-made clothing that is produced with consideration of the earth.

JJ’s Pizza

Kyle, SD

Jazlyn Fraser and Catlin Fraser

Jazlyn (Jaz) and Catlin (Cat) Fraser are owners of JJ’s Pizza. JJ’s pizza has long served delicious pizza at powwows all over South Dakota but has had to sit idle for the past two years due to major maintenance issues. Jaz and Cat hope to restore this pizza truck to its former glory and begin to serve their amazing pizza at powwows and in their community once again. They plan to use the loan funds to perform repairs and get the truck back into working order.

(Business Name Pending)

Kyle, SD

Kellie Pourier

Kellie Pourier is seeking to start a screen-printing business. She has been screen-printing for friends and family using a small machine for several year but has been unable to produce more than that due to equipment limitation. Kellie’s goal is to start a screen-printing business to produce well designed, quality t-shirts, hoodies, and sweaters for members of her community. She plans to use the loan funds to buy a screen printer and the material needed to begin her business.