Accion: Investing in Individuals. Improving our world. December 2013
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News from Around the World


India Conference Getting ‘Smart’-certified in India

The Smart Campaign publicly recognized five Indian MFIs that have become Client Protection Certified for meeting strong standards of client care: Cashpor, Equitas, Grameen Koota, Ujjivan, and Accion partner institution Swadhaar. These MFIs were recognized by the Campaign at the 10th Annual Microfinance India Summit in Delhi last week. The Campaign also announced the release of ‘Implementing Client Protection in Indian Microfinance: A State of Practice Report’ at the summit.

Click here to read the press release »

Women in India Big banks see benefits to financial inclusion

More than 2.5 billion people around the world do not have access to even the most basic financial services, such as savings accounts and loans, which many of us rely on to build financial security. The financial inclusion movement aims to turn this trend on its head – and many organizations and companies are joining the cause, working to make financial services accessible to low-income populations. Accion President and CEO Michael Schlein explains this evolving landscape in a recent interview with Reuters: "Now when you talk about the base of the pyramid, more often than not you're talking about markets and opportunities."

Click here to read the full article from Reuters »

La Idea WinnersBrewla Bars wins La Idea pitch room competition

We are excited to announce that Brewla Bars, based in Brooklyn, N.Y. and operated by a brother-and-sister team, has been named the winner in this year's La Idea Business Pitch Competition, sponsored by Sam Adams and the Accion U.S. Network. La Idea is a dynamic organization that aims to provide Latino entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to promote creation, cultivation and collaboration of small businesses, generating employment and economic growth throughout the Americas. This year's winner, Brewla Bars, specializes in creating all-natural frozen treats that appeal to a grown-up palate – and their business will receive a boost in the form of a $10,000 grant and support from Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams.

Read more on the Accion U.S. Network blog »

Educate Yourself

1000 Posts 1,000 posts and counting; Most-read Center for Financial Inclusion blog posts

When the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) was launched in 2008, they set out to foster a broader dialogue across industries to discuss how to expand financial services to reach 2.5 billion financially excluded people worldwide. With more than 1,000 posts and 5,000 comments, much of that conversation has been held on their blog. In conjunction with their 1,000th post, the CFI has compiled a list of their most widely read and most commented blog posts of all time.

Visit the CFI blog for more »

Paraguay A long first day in Asuncion as an Accion Ambassador

Volunteering as an Accion Ambassador at one of our partner microfinance institutions is exciting, impactful – and, of course, challenging. Accion Ambassador Kevin Hernandez has been tasked with understanding the needs of microfinance clients in Paraguay, and he had a proposition: offering home improvement loans to women who wouldn't normally have access to credit. Read about Kevin Hernandez's busy first day in the field as a volunteer with Accion partner Fundación Paraguaya in his latest blog post.

Read more on the Accion Ambassadors blog »

Success Story

Overcoming challenges and becoming a role model in India

Forced to leave school and marry at eight years old, Bainabai Sagar has overcome many challenges throughout her life, including the daily struggle to support three children on her own. When a family member fell ill, Bainabai took out her first loan and opened her own chai stand. As a participant in Accion's Dialogue on Business program, she has the tools she needs to ensure the success of her business – and she helps other women in the community to understand and manage their credit.

Read her full story on our website »

Support Us

Your gift – DOUBLED!

Thanks to a generous gift from a group of President's Circle members, all donations made to Accion through our website between now and December 31st will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000.

Support our work today »

Upcoming Events

Harvard Business School–Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance

Cambridge, Massachusetts
April 21-26, 2014
The six-day Harvard Business School–Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance offers leaders from around the world an exceptional opportunity to connect with peers while engaging with some of the HBS faculty's foremost thinkers in business strategy and management. The HBS Executive Education learning model immerses the world’s most promising managers in a transformational experience that combines the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and tools with professional, intellectual, and personal development. Apply today at

About Us

Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to creating a financially inclusive world where people have the financial tools they need to improve their lives. We are building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions, investing in and accelerating start-up companies that serve the poor through our impact-investing initiatives, and helping to create a strong industry with high standards. Over more than 50 years, Accion has helped create 63 microfinance institutions in 32 countries on four continents that today reach millions of clients. The Accion U.S. Network is the largest microfinance network in the United States and has served hundreds of thousands of clients with loans and support. For further information, visit


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