ACCION International and Citigroup Foundation Launch 2006 Microentrepreneurship ...

Sep 2006
Boston, Massachusetts , September, 11 2006 - For the fifth consecutive year, global microfinance pioneer ACCION International has joined Citigroup Foundation to honor hundreds of microentrepreneurs in 23 developing countries -- those individuals who demonstrate sustainability, responsibility and creativity in their businesses. The program has been designed to highlight the critical role that microfinance can play in alleviating global poverty and strengthening impoverished communities worldwide.

ACCION first designed the awards on behalf of Citigroup in 2001, with the objective of promoting microenterprise and increasing international awareness about the need for financial services for the poor. Since then, the program has grown significantly; this year, Citigroup has committed $1.375 million to the program. ACCION is coordinating the awards in eight of the 23 countries where it will be held: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela, and Uganda. The awards will also be presented in Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, and South Africa.

In 2005, with support from the United Nations, more than 4,500 microentrepreneurs in 30 countries were nominated, and over 300 received awards. This year, the national awards ceremonies will be held in late November and early December. Representatives from national government, corporations and universities will join in celebrating those microentrepreneurs who are helping to lift the economic fortunes of their families and communities.

"The program's greatest success has been raising awareness about the important role that microentrepreneurs play in their local economies, and the significance of microfinance as a tool in poverty alleviation," said Maria Otero, ACCION's president and CEO. "We're proud to be able to play an integral role in this program."


ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need -- microenterprise loans, business training, and other financial services -- to work their way out of poverty. A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. ACCION International's partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as $100 to poor women and men entrepreneurs in 22 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and in the U.S. In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 14 million loans totaling more than $9.4 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid. Selected for the third consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION was among 25 organizations awarded the 2006 Social Capitalist Award by Fast Company magazine. For more information, visit

About Citigroup Foundation

The Citigroup Foundation supports organizations that help people improve their lives, businesses to grow, and communities to prosper around the world. The Citigroup Foundation focuses its grants primarily in three areas: financial education, educating the next generation, and building communities and entrepreneurs. Additional information can be found at

Media contact: Hannah Caldwell Senior Director, Communications ACCION International Tel: +1-617-625-7080, x1215

Source : Accion's website

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