In response to the high unemployment and growing income inequality of the 1980s, Accion launched a domestic microlending program to empower low-to-moderate income business owners through access to capital and financial education. As the largest nonprofit micro-and small business lending network in the United States, Accion connects small business owners with the financing and support it takes to create or grow healthy businesses.
Loans and Support for Small Businesses in the United States
Member organizations that comprise the U.S. Network offer loans between U.S. $300 and $1,000,000 to small businesses with an average loan size of $10,000. With an internet lending platform to offer loans in areas not directly served by a physical office, Accion makes loans in every state of the country. For information on the work of the U.S. Network, visit us.accion.org.
Since Accion started operating in the United States in 1991, member organizations that comprise the Accion U.S. Network have provided loans and training to enterprising small business owners around the country. As of January 2015, members have lent over $454 million in aggregate through over 54,000 loans to small businesses. These dollars have helped to create and sustain more than 13,000 jobs and borrowers have repaid these loans at a 95% repayment rate. Through small business lending and financial education programs, Accion has fostered job creation, increases in family income and lasting economic vibrancy for small business owners and their communities nationwide.
The Need for Microfinance in the United States
Businesses with five or fewer employees make up 92 percent of all businesses in the United States, yet many lack access to the financial tools they need to expand. Since small businesses support the U.S. economy in such an important way, it is critical that financial services be available to support their growth and ensure the prosperity of small businesses.