January 4th, 2021
I hope this letter finds you well and that you had a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!
As we have now officially closed our 2nd year of operations and are looking forward to 2021, I want to share with you my reflections on 2020, because what a year it has been.
For Akiptan, 2020 was a year of challenges, accomplishments and growth. We started off the year hopeful of what the year could bring only to land in a pandemic that has affected the agriculture industry and markets in unprecedented ways. Then in April we had fully committed all of our loan capital, leaving new applications to be put on hold until new funding arrived. Trying to figure out how to navigate this “new normal” with the pandemic, while still striving to meet the needs of our producers proved to be quite the task for us here. But, after persistence and a few lucky breaks, the end of 2020 has done a 180 for us. We were able to secure enough funding for loan capital to fully meet the needs of our pipeline and any new applications that have come in because of our generous, new investors and grantors. This was a huge relief because the need for patient, innovative capital is more important now than ever with the pandemic still affecting our world.
One of the soapboxes that I have gone on several times throughout the year was the need for patient, innovative capital. Saying “don’t recreate the wheel” is such a common thing in the business world, but when the wheel is broken and not working the way it should, we need to recreate it. We are very proud of our financing approach here at Akiptan and are grateful of the impact that we have made.
Our patient capital approach has allowed our producers to absorb this abnormal year with minimal damage. Our clients were still able to follow their goals and growth plans, maybe not exactly, but closely, to what we had set forth before the pandemic struck and we are overjoyed for that. That wouldn’t have been possible without the producers’ hard work and our innovative capital. We are honored and humbled to have been a part in their operations.
A few of the milestones we’ve hit in 2020 are highlighted below:
Total Loans Closed and Committed as of December 31st, 2020: $1.8 Million
New Loans Closed in 2020: 34
Current Pipeline: 16 applications totaling $1.4 Million
Growing Staff of 3 now, 2 Full Time Employees and 1 Part Time Employee
As always, we are hopeful for what 2021 might bring. Fundraising is our #1 goal because meeting our producers’ financing needs is our #1 priority. We plan to expand our footprint to more reservation
s and deepen our footprint on the reservations we have already served. We also want to share our story more to broadcast the importance of patient capital.
While 2020 may have thrown some crazy times at us, we have to wipe the dirt off our pants, get back in the saddle and keep moving forward. At Akiptan we are excited and hopeful that 2021 will be a great year and are looking forward to continuing to serve the dedicated individuals in Native agriculture.