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Communities of Opportunity: NADF

Over 30 years, the NADF has provided $36 million to assist more than 600 Aboriginal entrepreneurs and businesses.

One of the biggest challenges for small business is financing, and that’s where NADF comes in. After 30 years in the developmental lending business, NADF has invested approximately $36 million to assist 600+ Aboriginal entrepreneurs and businesses to start, build, or grow a business in Northern Ontario, on and off reserve.

“Considering we are a developmental lender, NADF has done extremely well,” says Brian Davey, Executive Director. “Looking back on our 30 years of lending experience, our loan losses have averaged about 10% and that is a great average when compared to similar organizations.”

When it comes to supporting the growth of Aboriginal business, NADF is always looking outside the box, recently rolling out matching and competitive interest rates (certain conditions apply) and extended loan terms for larger loans. 

“We are fairly competitive with what is out there now,” says Kimberley Bird, Loans Manager. “We have also reduced some of our administration fees and have added new products, such as lines of credit and commercial mortgages, to better serve our clients.”

NADF offers loans from $1,000 to $500,000 and, in exceptional circumstances, up to $1M.  

“Our microloans may be that little kick start that someone needs to get their business up and running,” Bird says. “It is particularly helpful for someone doing a seasonal-type business or someone who wants to start off small to minimize their risk.”

In addition to loans, NADF also offers grants (up to $99,999 for individuals and $249,999 for communities), business support, workshops and training, community planning, appraisals, and due diligence services to support Aboriginal business and economic development in the North.

On November 20, 2017, NADF will celebrate their 30th Anniversary and will host an evening reception at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay. For more information, visit

NADF also presents events that promote and support business and economic development, including the NADF Business Awards, the Engage Summit, the Aboriginal Forum, the Mining Summit, and the Forestry Expo.  

To learn more about NADF’s programs and services, visit or call 1-800-465-6821.