Accion's mission is to empower low- to moderate-income business owners through access to capital and financial education. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs - often minorities and women - can build assets, better provide for their families, create employment and strengthen their communities.
When you walk into Lauren’s gym, you instantly hear the buzz of people running, jumping, and flipping. After a few minutes you’ll also notice Lauren using the balance beam to teach a client how to walk, or taking time out from mat-work to focus on confidence building exercises. Lauren has been a gymnast and coach for over 15 years; today, she works with special needs clients at her gym—LEAP South Florida—to help them develop a range of skills, from body awareness to self-confidence and teamwork.
Lauren’s loan from Accion was her first business loan. “I had a degree in entrepreneurship, but didn’t know where to start. I opened a bank account, and my banker pointed me to Accion for start-up capital.”
As a start-up, access to capital from Accion was critical. With it, she was able to open up her own gym and purchase the Olympic-standard equipment she needed to run her work leading the Miami-Dade County Special Olympics program. She now has four staff members and a dozen volunteers.
Capital, Education and Support
Accion believes that small businesses are the lifeblood of Miami's local neighborhoods. We connect minority, immigrant and women entrepreneurs with the financing and support it takes to create and grow healthy businesses. Our programs provide Miami small business owners with financing ranging from $500 to $250,000, complemented by in-depth guidance, coaching and an entire support system of peers, mentors and resources. Groundbreaking partnerships, free workshops, webinars and online resources give our clients access to best practices, industry knowledge and professional networks. As a result of our services, our borrowers grow business revenues, increase take-home pay and create employment opportunities.
At the business and household levels, borrowers see a 23% increase in take home pay, and 79% of borrowers report that their loan stabilizes their business or improves their household. The increase in revenue helps these business owners better serve their communities, and gives them more money to save and invest in their local economies. In addition to improving business management, the lessons learned from our financial education programs helps clients better manage their personal finances and households.
Accion’s impact is also felt at the community level – an Accion loan creates or sustains an average of 3.7 jobs, which pay 52% more than the federal minimum wage, and provide our clients and employees with a vehicle to escape the cycle of debt and poverty.
SVP, Community Development
Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP
Senior Vice President
Vice President of Lending
Vice President of Development
Director of Lending South Florida
Manager of Lending
Director of Community Advantage (Lending)
This organization's financial statements were independently submitted and have not been verified by The Miami Foundation.