Building Entrepreneurship

An MBDA AIANNH Project funded by the US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency


Building Entrepreneurship is a project that demonstrates how integrated partnerships create a continuum of support for entrepreneurs. The partnership includes Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), a Tribal non-profit organization focusing on improving the lives of Alaska Natives and American Indians, the Anchorage Community Land Trust and Cook Inlet Lending Center.

The elements of this triad partnership include early business plan development, marketing and promotion, technical assistance and prototyping, and financial support. The primary focus of these three organizations is to break down barriers to create access for individuals—together they create a new and sustainable path for Alaska Native and American Indian entrepreneurs.


Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC)


Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) is a tribal nonprofit organization serving Alaska Native and American Indian people residing in the Cook Inlet region of southcentral Alaska and assisting them in reaching their often-untapped potential.


We believe that when we work together, we can help each other develop our strengths and talents, and become successful and self-sufficient individuals, families, and communities.


Since its inception in 1983, CITC has grown from a fledgling, grass-roots operation with only three employees to one of the nation’s preeminent culturally responsive social-service organizations serving over 12,000 people annually and employing more than 400 passionate and caring individuals.


An array of support services includes education, employment and training services, workforce development, family preservation, and support for individuals recovering from addiction, substance abuse, or incarceration.


Through our subsidiaries The Alaska Native Justice Center and the Clare Swan Early Learning Center, we address Alaska Native people’s unmet needs within the Alaska civil and criminal justice system and provide for the needs of working families with child care through an Early Head Start curriculum.


Anchorage Community Land Trust (ACLT)


Anchorage Community Land Trust (ACLT) is a neighborhood-based non-profit in Anchorage that works with residents and business owners in targeted geographies to improve quality of life in their communities. For 18 years, ACLT has been disrupting concentrated poverty in Anchorage by making concentrated investments that are high impact, community-vetted and anchored in partnership.


ACLT’s services fall into four core categories:

  • Real Estate: ACLT owns transformative properties, connects entrepreneurs to real estate, and invests in our neighborhood commercial corridors.
  • Organizing: ACLT works with neighbors to create grassroots networks and act as an advocate for issues that matter to our communities.
  • Neighborhood Improvements: ACLT works with neighbors to rejuvenate and invest in the spaces important to our communities.
  • Targeted Programs: ACLT runs high-impact programming grounded in our neighborhoods that aims to stand behind residents and address poverty and inequity.


In 2017, ACLT launched its flagship program, Set Up Shop, to empower neighborhood entrepreneurs by providing training, small business lending, technical assistance, and real estate support to business owners in targeted neighborhoods of Anchorage.


ACLT has long empowered residents in its neighborhoods to be the leaders of their community’s next steps. With a full-time staff of 10 and a combined 45 years of experience working in our core communities, ACLT knows its neighborhoods deeply, and our earned trust allows our place-based initiatives to succeed.


By supporting business creation, resident leadership, and better infrastructure, we build neighborhoods from within, and reverse the cycle of generational poverty.


Cook Inlet Lending Center (CICL)


CILC’s mission is to provide lending products and services that invest in underserved communities and small businesses; all supporting CILC’s Target Market, the Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) Footprint, which includes the Municipality of Anchorage, and the Kenai and Matanuska-Susitna Boroughs.


The Small Business Lending Program increases access to affordable capital for small businesses operating in Alaska with a focus on the Cook Inlet Region. As a certified Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CILC works with small business clients whose successes benefit our communities and grow our economy, but who may not have access to a business loan from a traditional financial institution. Our products fill the existing gaps in affordable financing and services for small business owners in Anchorage.


For Anchorage small businesses impacted by COVID-19, CILC has developed a business stabilization strategy — Survive-Adapt-Thrive — to help the businesses ride out the current recession. An innovative combination of flexible financial products and supportive services, Survive-Adapt-Thrive responds to the moment by providing access to affordable capital that small businesses need immediately and long term. The approach is designed for struggling small businesses that have the potential to recover and flourish and are owned by people of color, women, and Alaska Natives. CILC will use its Native Catalyst Award grant to build the staff capacity required to successfully implement its strategy.


Marcy Herman

Marcy is CITC’s Director of Strategic Projects & Initiatives. Marcy brings over ten years of experience with the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development in support of the new learning model at CITC. Prior to serving the State of Alaska, Marcy was the Business Development Director for a locally-owned 8(a) contractor in Juneau, Alaska.


Marcy received her B.A. of Business Administration in Management from the University of Alaska Southeast. Marcy is thrilled to serve as the Project Manager for this innovative and inclusive partnership through the Building Entrepreneurship grant.


Caitlin Taylor

Caitlin is the Senior Program Manager at ACLT and she is committed to working with non-profits, foundations and local government for a better city. Her lifelong nickname is “Cat”, which continues to confuse baristas scribbling it on coffee cups.


Born and raised in Anchorage, Cat obtained her B.S. in Sociology and the Civic Engagement Certificate from UAA. When away from the office, she enjoys hitting the gym, trying out all the foodie hotspots, and cooking for her family of friends.


Jeff Tickle

Jeff Tickle arrived to Alaska in August of 1992 and landed in Sand Point, an Alaska Native Aleut Community on the edge of the Alaska Peninsula in the Shumigan Islands. He graduated from Sand Point high school and attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Anchorage before graduating with his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance in 2005.


After working in the banking and mortgage industry for 8 years, Jeff was thrilled to join and lead the Cook Inlet Lending Center team when he learned the focus was in helping our State of Alaska communities and families towards the goal of homeownership. “The community of Sand Point, Alaska welcomed me with open arms upon my arrival years ago and it is with great honor to be able to give back to our Alaska Native communities in the pursuit of homeownership.”


Marcy Herman, Director Strategic Projects & Initiatives

Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc. (CITC)

3600 San Jeronimo Court

Anchorage, AK 99508

Voice: 907-793-3464

Fax: 907-793-3394



Caitlin “Cat” Taylor, Senior Program Manager

Anchorage Community Land Trust (ACLT)

3701 Mountain View Drive, Ste 100

Anchorage, AK 99508

Voice: 907-274-0152



Jeff Tickle, General Manager

Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC)

3600 Spenard Road

Anchorage, AK 99503

Voice: 907-793-3722

Fax: 907-793-3079