ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need to work their way out of poverty. By providing "micro" loans, business training and other financial services to poor men and women who start their own businesses, ACCION helps people work their way up the economic ladder, with dignity and pride.
- ACCION works in the following areas to further the development of the microfinance industry
- Services to Build and Expand Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)
- Access to Capital Markets
- Leadership and Innovation
- Our proven commercial approach is
designed to enable our partner institutions to reach profitability and significant numbers of
low-income businesses and households with financial services tailored to their needs. ACCION offers
the following services when partnering with institutions:
- We provide early stage equity, quasi-equity financing and loan guarantees in order to help MFIs become independent of donor funds, attract deposits and attain financial leverage. ACCION links MFIs to commercial banks and capital markets by guaranteeing local currency borrowings and the issuance of fixed-income instruments. In addition, ACCION invest in new technologies that can powerfully enhance the way that financial services are delivered to the poor.
- We provide management services by deploying teams of managers to work in select partner institutions for a period of time - in roles such as CEO, commercial manager, operations manager, and training and product development manager. These management teams develop strategies, policies and tools - aligned with best practices - to train local MFI managers and build institutional capacity for the long term.
- We also offer technical assistance by sending advisors to work closely with our partners, providing them with strategic and tactical guidance on designing, implementing and strengthening microfinance products and services.
- We have also launched the Center for Financial Inclusion, a
collaborative effort to advance the commercial model of microfinance while upholding the interests
and needs of poor clients worldwide.
- ACCION's partners work with millions of economically marginalized men and women in Africa,
Latin America and Asia. In most developing countries, self-employment is one of the only means for
poor people to provide for their families. However, informal-sector businesses have traditionally
been excluded from access to the financial services they need in order to grow. Through courage,
ingenuity, determination and financial access, microentrepreneurs who have taken advantage of
ACCION's microfinance services have built futures filled with possibility for generations to come.
Client businesses range from sewing workshops and market stalls to small-scale agriculture and
- ACCION International was founded in 1961 to address the desperate poverty in Latin America's
cities. Begun as a student-run volunteer effort in the shantytowns of Caracas, Venezuela, ACCION
today is one of the premier microfinance organizations in the world, with a network of lending
partners that spans Latin America, Africa, Asia and the United States.
- Over the last four
decades, ACCION has built a tradition of developing innovative solutions to poverty. ACCION
currently works in 23 countries with 32 partner microfinance institutions that are financially
self-sustaining and have provided loans as low as $50 to poor women and men entrepreneurs. In the
last decade alone, ACCION affiliated programs have made $23.4 billion in microloans to more than
7.7 million people, with a historical repayment rate of over 97 percent. In 2008, ACCION partners
served 3.7 million active clients and lent more than 6.06 billion dollars.
After working in a factory for years, Arnulfo created a better life by starting his own weaving business. He watched the weavers of San Salvador and built up merchandise – from brooms to bassinettes – and quit his factory job to sell handiwork full-time. Then, in February 2001 an earthquake destroyed his business. With the help of Integral, an ACCION partner, he built back his enterprise. Today, 58 year-old José buys wicker in bulk and sells $300 worth/week. Full Story