Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world. Accion works to create economic opportunity by connecting people to the financial tools they need to improve their lives. A world pioneer in microfinance, Accion was founded as a community development organization in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973. Over time, Accion has helped to build 63 microfinance institutions (MFIs) reaching millions of clients in 32 countries on four continents—Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the U.S. By building strong MFIs, pushing the frontier of financial services through innovation and investment, and developing high industry standards that center on the needs of clients, Accion is striving to reach the nearly three billion people worldwide who still seek these crucial financial services.
Accion provides early-stage equity, quasi-equity financing, and loan guarantees to help grow MFIs sustainably and support a financial ecosystem that will radically enhance the efficiency, reach, and scope of financial services at the base of the economic pyramid. Accion provides financing and credit enhancements through four vehicles. Frontier Investments Group is an early and growth stage impact investing fund focused on investing in new technologies and disruptive innovation that can enhance the way financial services are delivered to the un/underbanked. Venture Lab, founded in 2012, is dedicated to providing patient seed capital and management support to innovative financial inclusion startups (earlier stage than Frontier Investments), fostering experimentation and promoting business models that improve financial access for people at the base of the pyramid. The Gateway Fund is a private equity fund that makes direct investments in MFIs to generate a social and financial return. Finally, the Global Bridge Fund is a loan guarantee fund that serves as a conduit between socially responsible investors and microentrepreneurs in the field. The Bridge Fund extends loan guarantees that support the access of MFIs to local capital markers, expanding their funding sources and enabling their growth and development.