Accion Texas Inc. announced last week that it has reached a company milestone - $150M disbursed in small business loans. Accion Texas, founded in 1994, is the largest microlender in the country and a member in a network of lenders called Accion U.S. Janie Barrera, CEO and President of Accion Texas , has said of the accomplishment, “This is a historic moment for Accion. After 19 years of lending, we have assisted more than 15,000 businesses, and the year is not yet complete.”
The Accion Texas loan niche is the start-up business which commercial banks generally do not like to finance. The Accion Texas mission statement describes itself as a nonprofit, multi-state micro- and small business lender that helps new and existing entrepreneurs successfully grow their businesses. With a forgiving eye to credit rating, a relaxed definition of collateral and hands-on loan management services that include working with the lendee by providing technical assistance through partnerships and collaborations, Accion has gained a reputation and a great deal of respect in the loan industry because of its low loan default rate. According to Lisa Riley, Delta Region Manager for Accion Texas, the southeast region has the lowest default rate in the 8 state footprint in which Accion Texas operates even in the face of a challenging economy and clients who are traditionally described as high-risk. “Every day we set out to accomplish our mission, to provide capital to entrepreneurs that do not have the ability to obtain capital through traditional avenues. I am very proud of the effort put forth in the delta. We are the newest offices added to the Accion team and have made a substantial contribution in reaching the $150M milestone.”
Recently Accion Texas also announced it is the winner of the highest possible funding award limit for 2013 from the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) corporation, a program funded by the US Treasury making grant monies available for activities such as those carried out by Accion. According to the CDFI website, the CDFI’s mission is to “increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations and in distressed communities in the United States” The process of winning the award is a competitive one and speaks to the organization’s track record. Accion operates 21 offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. For more information, visit www.acciontexas.org.