As partners of these two members of the ACCION family, we welcome this move because it represents a big step in streamlining costs and expanding reach
New York, NY (PRWEB) January 26, 2009
After more than five years of joint work providing U.S. entrepreneurs with small business loans, microfinance organizations ACCION USA and ACCION New York have announced that they have combined operations. Through combined technology, back-office functions, and fundraising efforts, the unified organization will be able to provide microloans to financially underserved business owners with increased efficiency and reach.
The combination takes on a special meaning in today's economic climate, as it will allow the new organization, to bear the ACCION USA brand, to more effectively contribute to job creation, increased household incomes, and the availability of capital nationwide. In fact, a recent study released by ACCION USA and the Aspen Institute indicated that each microloan provided by ACCION USA contributes an average of 1.7 jobs to the community and produces an 18 percent increase in take-home pay from existing businesses.
ACCION USA will now manage a loan portfolio of over $18 million, disbursed to over 3,000 active clients through offices in Boston, New York City, Atlanta, Miami, and Puerto Rico, and nationally through an online lending platform. Historically, the organizations have loaned over $110 million to over 11,000 clients.
Advancing a Shared Mission
"ACCION USA and ACCION New York have a rich history of working together to advance both the availability of credit to small business owners and the field of U.S. microfinance," said Gina Harman, who has served as president and CEO of the individual organizations since June of 2008 and will assume the same role at the combined ACCION USA. "This combination will advance our shared mission by allowing us to fully leverage a single investment in technology, back-office operations, and financial resources.
ACCION USA loan products will include business term loans from $700 to $50,000 (with an average of $7,500), start-up business loans, and loans to help individuals establish a credit history. The organization will also continue to utilize financial education as a path to fiscal independence, offering community workshops and free online resources to assist small business owners.
A Welcomed Move
Gary Hattem, managing director of Deutsche Bank in New York and a partner to both organizations expressed support for the combination. "As partners of these two members of the ACCION family, we welcome this move because it represents a big step in streamlining costs and expanding reach," said Mr. Hattem. The combination of ACCION New York's depth with ACCION USA's geographic and product breadth will keep ACCION at the forefront of efforts in the U.S. to provide business owners with access to fair-priced financial products, services and education."
New National Leadership
A new national Board of Directors has been elected to govern ACCION USA, uniting experienced leadership from the former ACCION New York and ACCION USA Boards. Members include:
Janet Thompson (co-Chair), Retired Vice President & Director, Citigroup Community Reinvestment; Terri Ludwig (co-Chair), President, Merrill Lynch Community Development Company; Daniel Bennett, Founder & Former CEO, Sunbelt Holding; Gordon Borener; Piers Cardew, Private Investor; William Fenton, SVP Market Manager, Community Development Bank of America; Thoman FitzGibbon, President, MB Financial CDC; Henry Lanier, Consultant: Community Development Finance, Forsyth Street Advisors; Thomas McDermott, Private Investor; Cesar Medina, Sr. Vice President & Chief Credit Officer, Banco Popular North America; Ken Olson; Maria Otero, President & CEO, ACCION International; Elizabeth Pugh, Chief Financial Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Alan Rodriguez, Principal, Madera Capital, Inc.; Jim Schoedinger, Private Investor; Douglas Urquhart, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP; Ray Ziler, Chief Financial Officer, PSI Pump/REDW Business and Financial Resources, LLC
About ACCION USA and ACCION New York:
ACCION USA is a private, nonprofit microlending organization that serves low- and moderate-income individuals, primarily minorities and women, who are unable to access mainstream financial services. A pioneer and recognized leader in the domestic microfinance field, ACCION USA is dedicated to providing small business owners and individuals on the economic margin with access capital and develop greater financial literacy. ACCION USA is a member of the U.S. ACCION Network, the largest U.S. microlending network, with over $230 million lent since its inception in 1991. ACCION USA loans range from $500-$50,000 and are offered nationwide via the ACCION USA online lending platform. For more information about small business loans, visit http://www.accionusa.org.
ACCION New York and New Jersey is a nonprofit microlending organization that contributes to the economic development of the New York metropolitan region by providing loans and advisory services to individuals and small businesses that do not have access to traditional sources of credit. As a leader in both U.S. microfinance and local small business lending, ACCION has provided over $80 million in small loans since its inception in 1991. Ranging from experienced restaurateurs to home-based businesses and native New Yorkers to recent immigrants, loan recipients have transformed capital into citywide economic development, positive community change, and personal empowerment.