ACCION International - Micro Finance Related
ACCION's Mission & Approach
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.
Vision and Objective
ACCION pursues a vision in which all people have access to a range of high-quality financial services that enhance their economic potential and the quality of their lives. It has been estimated that it would cost over $250 billion to bring financial services to 500 million poor people. Our current objective is to help provide 6 million of those people, nearly double the number of people we currently serve, with access to microfinance by 2011.
To achieve the above goal, ACCION must increase the reach of microfinance services to the poor on a global scale. Reaching scale requires microfinance to be financially efficient and self-sustaining. To that end, ACCION must continue to hone and implement an innovative approach that both reduces the cost of services to the poor and increases the ability to provide services that reach millions of poorer and more remote people.
Partnerships to Reach Scale: ACCION currently partners with 28 microfinance institutions (MFIs), NGOs and commercial banks across Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, helping us reach a total of 3.3 million poor people with microfinance*. Learn more about where we work. >
Creation, Expansion and Training: ACCION guides our partners in how to develop and deliver best-in-class financial services for the poor. We provide institutions with technical assistance (TA) and management services to help them launch, transform and expand their microfinance programs. ACCION also offers training and education on the microfinance process, to build staff capacity and better position MFIs to achieve their social and financial goals. Learn more >
Innovation: A growing microfinance program requires advances in risk management, service delivery to remote areas and technology. ACCION pilots new microfinance products and processes in “Innovation Labs.” These innovations inform our TA and management services to MFIs, offering institutions improved ways to serve the needs of their low-income clients, minimize costs, scale their programs and become financially viable. Learn more about innovative practices in serving the poor and examples of this work >
Access to Further Funding: ACCION also provides equity financing and loan guarantees to institutions. These funds enable institutions to invest in resources such as better core-banking systems and more branches to improve services and increase reach. We also make investments in companies beyond our partner MFIs whose innovative products, such as technology, can enhance the value of financial services for the poor. Learn more about our investments in MFIs and companies that support the microfinance industry. >
Leadership: ACCION works through its Center for Financial Inclusion to promote global, full financial inclusion; we attend and organize events and conferences, develop publications, and collaborate with the private sector. We also work to ensure clients receive quality services delivered in a customer-friendly manner through an industry campaign called “The Smart Campaign.” Learn more about our industry leadership. >
* As of December 2009
ACCION's goal is to bring microfinance to enough people to have a significant impact on poverty. It has been estimated that it would cost over $250 billion to reach 500 million poor people with microfinance services– a figure well beyond the reach of donor funds. That is why ACCION is leading the effort to make microfinance financially self-sustaining.
Microfinance programs have the potential to cover their own costs. The interest each borrower pays helps to finance the cost of lending to another. In most poverty alleviation efforts, every person helped brings the program closer to its financial limits. Successful microfinance programs, on the other hand, generate more resources with each individual they help.
As a result, well-managed microfinance programs generate more income than they spend. Once they become economically viable financial institutions, they have the ability to access a virtually unlimited source of lending capital – the billions of dollars invested in the world's financial markets.
Many of ACCION's partners have already made the transition from nonprofit, charity-dependent organizations to banks or other regulated financial institutions. The three largest (Banco Solidarioof Ecuador, Banco Compartamos of Mexico and Mibanco of Peru), each reach over 100,000 poor and low-income microentrepreneurs.
These pioneering microfinance institutions (MFIs) have demonstrated that it is possible for a commercial lender to serve the poor while meeting its bottom-line and thriving as an institution. As a result, commercial banks that previously only served the upper class are increasingly opening their doors to microentrepreneurs. ACCION has helped four commercial banks,SOGEBANK (Haiti), Banco del Pichincha (Ecuador), Banco ABN-AMRO Real (Brazil), and Ecobank (West Africa) begin lending to the self-employed poor.
ACCION's emphasis on commercial viability and institutional growth – known as the financial systems approach – has helped our partner MFIs reach scale and financial self-sufficiency. To help our partners attain these goals, ACCION provides technical assistance to improve operations and efficiency, and equity financing and loan guarantees to enhance financial stability and access commercial capital.
For further information you can contact their offices or log on to www.accion.org
ACCION International Headquarters
Boston, MA, USA
56 Roland Street
Boston, MA 02129 USA
Tel: (617) 625-7080
Fax: (617) 625-7020
Map & Directions
ACCION International Regional Offices
Washington D.C., USA
1401 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005 USA
Tel: (202) 393-5113
Fax: (202) 393-5115
Centro ACCION Microempresarial
Carrera 45 A Numero 128 B – 41 Local 14
Centro Comercial Rosetta
Tel: (571) 748-0707
Fax: (571) 520-3373
ACCION Technical Advisors India
No. 9/3, Kaiser-E-Hind, 3rd Floor
Bangalore - 560 025 India
ACCION International Africa Hub and Training Center
No. 46 – 5th Norla Link North
Labone, PMB KD.61
ACCION (Beijing) Consultation Services Co., Ltd.
Room 606, Building 3
Wan Da Plaza
No. 93 Jianguo Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing