1990s: Bringing Microfinance Home – The U.S. Initiative

In 1991, concerned about growing income inequality and unemployment in the United States, Accion brought its microlending model home by piloting a program in Brooklyn, New York. Accion aimed to help those in need of a loan too small for a bank to make with no credit history or damaged credit so that they could work their way up the economic ladder, with dignity and pride.

Over the next five years, Accion worked to adapt its lending model to the very different social and economic context of the United States. In 1994, Accion established Accion Texas in San Antonio, Accion New Mexico in Albuquerque, Accion Chicago and Accion San Diego.

The Accion footprint has steadily grown nationwide to encompass Georgia, New England, Florida, the Delta Region (Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee), Arizona and Colorado. Accion also offers a landmark online loan application, extending vital financial access and economic opportunity to small business owners across the nation regardless of location.

Since the inception of its pilot program in 1991, the members of the Accion U.S. Network have helped over 26,500 enterprising clients with vital financial services, support and education and have lent over $305 million. Accion currently serves more than 4,200 active borrowers across the country.*

To learn more about the Accion U.S. Network, please visit: http://usnetwork.accion.org.   

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