Accion U.S. Network
|Joseph Blatchford, founder|
The Accion U.S. Network is part of Accion International, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization operating globally, with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need to create or grow healthy businesses. The domestic Accion programs started in Brooklyn, NY, and grew from there to become the first nationwide network microlender.
In addition to having lending offices in nearly 30 cities, Accion also offers online lending. Its five member offices are:
- Accion East
- Accion Chicago
- Accion New Mexico · Arizona · Colorado
- Accion San Diego
- Accion Texas
Accion offers microloans and other financial services to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs in the United States who are typically unable to access bank credit to start or expand their small business. Services offered include a small business loan program, a "Credit Builder" loan program, and a financial literacy program offered in several languages. In addition, Accion’s national partnerships with Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, Sam’s Club, Citi Salutes: Realizing Your Dream, and The Hartford: Communities with HART offer Accion’s clients a wide range of opportunities and support for growth, such as personalized business coaching, business seminars, and regional and national competitions.
In 2014, Accion celebrated 20 years of supporting small businesses in America. The anniversary marked 20 years of “firsts” with Accion being the first microlender in the U.S. to provide credit reports to all three bureaus, the first to provide online microlending, and the first to provide nationwide underwriting.
The Accion U.S. Network is the largest of its kind in the United States, having made nearly 50,000 loans, totaling over $406 million with a 90% loan repayment rate as of January 2014. In addition, Accion lends over $3.7 million to small businesses a month. Accion works with groups that might not qualify for traditional financing, such as women, minorities, and immigrants, to give them the financial tools they need to build their business.
Accion’s most recent outcomes data from its 2013 microTracker survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Aspen Institute and California microlender Opportunity Fund, showed that:
- 4.8 jobs were created or sustained on average by businesses with employees
- 97% of businesses remained open one year after receiving a loan despite challenging economic times
- 47% reported satisfaction with income earned from their business
Awards and acknowledgements
Since its inception, Accion has won numerous regional and national awards and acknowledgements for its success in microlending. Collectively, the member offices received the 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Microenterprise Development as part of the Accion U.S. Network. In addition, they have been awarded several grants from the Community Development Financial Institution and the U.S. Department of Housing and Development. Awards include:
- CDFI Fund Awards
- 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator
- The 2009 New York City Neighborhood Achievement Award for Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise Advocate of the Year
- The 2007 Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance
- The 2007 Small Business Advocate of The Year Award from the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce
- The NOVO Award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
- The 2004 VIVA Award for Vision, Investment, Vitality, and Action from the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry
- The 2002 Deutsche Bank Award for Excellence in Lending
- Weber, Sam. "International microlender brings small business lending to U.S. merchants". PBS. PBS. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "About Accion". Accion U.S. Network. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "The Hartford Commits $16 Million To Support Small Business Success". The Hartford.
- "Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream". Samuel Adams.
- "Accion U.S. Network Joins Citi & Institute for Veterans and Military Families to Offer Strategic Financing Support for Veteran Entrepreneurs". Citi Group. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "Sam’s Club Announces $2.5 Million Investment in Women Entrepreneurs". Sam's Club. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "Celebrating 20 Years". Accion U.S. Network.
- Arora, Rohit. "Getting The Big Picture on Microloans". Inc. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "Small Loans, Big Results: microTracker Outcomes Study". Accion U.S. Network. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "Remarks on Presenting the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Microenterprise Development". U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 18 August 2014.