Microfinance Pioneer ACCION Reaches Milestone of Assisting Two Million Poor Annu...
Boston, Massachusetts , August, 16 2006 -
Demonstrates that Microfinance Can Help Alleviate Global Poverty in a Scaleable, Sustainable Manner.
ACCION International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance, today announced that the number of poor entrepreneurs it reaches annually with small loans and other financial services through its network of global partners has surpassed two million.
With half the world living on $2 a day or less, effective tools to help alleviate global poverty are of paramount importance; ACCION’s work increasingly demonstrates that microfinance provides such a tool. The nonprofit organization makes ‘micro’ loans as small as $100 through partners to poor men and women who start their own businesses; 97 percent of those loans are repaid. While it took 20 years for ACCION and its partners to reach their first million clients, it took just three years to surpass the second million. ACCION’s strategic goal is to reach three million active clients by 2008.
"No fewer than a billion of the world’s poor could benefit from microfinance, provided they are given access," said María Otero, ACCION president and CEO. "Two million is significant and we are proud of our accomplishments, but with so many people in need, microfinance needs to become a global priority. Imagine what could be done by fully engaging the capital markets in this mission."
ACCION’s operating budget of $14.8 million helped put $2.63 billion in small loans – through its network of partners – into the hands of poor entrepreneurs last year, according to figures just released. Full details of the organization’s audited 2005 results are available in its online annual report, at: http://www.accion.org/PDF/2005AIAR.pdf
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 www.accion.org.