Milestone for Microfinance: ACCION Network Reaches 3M Clients

Leading Nonprofit Reaches New Mark in its Global Poverty Alleviation Work;
Small Loans for Poor Entrepreneurs Help Build Financial Inclusion

BOSTON, Mass., April 3, 2008
– ACCION® International, a pioneer and leader in global microfinance, today announced that the number of active clients it reaches with small business loans and other financial services through its network of 35 partner organizations in 25 countries has recently surpassed 3 million.

The pace of growth in the ACCION network client base continues to accelerate as members develop sustainable and profitable business models, in some cases accessing local and global capital markets.  After making its first small loans to the poor in Brazil in 1973, it took ACCION and its network of partners three decades to reach their first 1 million clients.  The second million were reached three years later, in mid-2006, and the third million in half that time, by the end of 2007.

“The rapidly growing reach of our partner network shows that commercial viability, which all ACCION members strive for, is the best means for microfinance to scale up and deliver financial services to the hundreds of  millions of working poor who still lack access to credit, savings, insurance and other wealth-building tools,” said María Otero, ACCION president and CEO.

In 2006, ACCION’s partner network made $3.72 billion worth of small loans to poor microentrepreneurs around the world.  The network expects to have significantly surpassed this amount when audited financials for 2007 are released.

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 men and women entrepreneurs in 25 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the United States.  In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 17.9 million loans totaling more than $12.3 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid.  Selected for the fifth consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION was among 45 organizations awarded the 2008 Social Capitalist Award by Fast Company Magazine/Monitor Group. ACCION has also been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating – four stars – for efficiency and sound fiscal management.  For more information,

ACCION® is a registered trademark of ACCION International.

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Media contact:
Bruce MacDonald
VP, Communications
ACCION International
Tel: +1-617-625-7080, x1245

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