Our role in the industry is unique. We build sustainable, scalable microfinance institutions (MFIs) that share our commitment to the double bottom line – maximizing both financial and social impact – by providing those MFIs with management services, technical assistance, investments and governance. Like a venture capital firm, we combine investment of capital with managerial expertise. Our managers are typically seconded to partner MFIs and use their experience to help build sound, commercial models of microfinance that are scalable, profitable and carefully attuned to protecting clients' rights. Together, these services help catapult smaller, younger MFIs to the highest level of performance.
We deploy teams of managers to work in select partner institutions – in roles such as CEO, commercial manager or product development manager – to reinforce the management teams of partner institutions, ensure the application of best practices and ultimately build institutional capacity for the long term. We also often provide partners with technical assistance in designing, implementing and strengthening the MFI’s marketing, risk management, information technology and human resources functions, as well as its microfinance products, services and delivery channels.
Our investment vehicles link MFIs to commercial banks and capital markets. Through equity and quasi-equity investments as well as loan guarantees, Accion enables MFIs to expand outreach, strengthen core systems, access innovations, attract deposits, become independent of donor funds and establish financial leverage.
We provide strategic leadership to investee institutions through board participation. Board representatives from Accion bring international and regional microfinance knowledge as well as extensive professional networks and experience. They guide partner MFIs on strategy, management and planning; provide financial oversight; lead committees; and support the MFI’s social mission.