January 2010

News from Around the World

ACCIONista Recounts Devastation in Port-au-Prince

"The capital is no more," said Cassandre Dupont, ACCION Resident Advisor to our Haitian microfinance partner SOGESOL, who was fortunate to escape from SOGESOL's headquarters in Port-au-Prince during the devastating earthquake. Unfortunately, the quake has left no one untouched. ACCION and SOGESOL are now working hard to search for missing staff members and locate the institution’s thousands of microentrepreneur clients to help them rebuild their shaken futures.

"Life as I knew it has changed forever," said Dupont. "The damage that was incurred has devastated families and taken generations from this country," she continued. "Please find it in your heart to aid the Haitian people."

In the past, microfinance services have helped to empower and provide stability for poor Haitians during difficult times. The need is far greater now. 

Please make a secure, tax-deductible gift to our Support Haiti Fund and help restore Haitian clients' livelihoods >> 

Out from Under the Mattress

For too many of the world’s poor, the only way to protect their money is to hide it under the mattress, so to speak, or to pay someone else to keep it safe. Neither of these methods is sustainable. Now, ACCION is forging ahead with long-time partners BancoSol in Bolivia, Finamérica in Colombia and CREDIFE in Ecuador to come up with savings products designed to help microentrepreneurs and the working poor keep their savings safe while earning interest. 

Find out how a $5.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping to make savings possible >> 


Catalyzing Change to Better Serve Poor Clients

In 2009, ACCION’s Center for Financial Inclusion launched a collaborative action research project aimed at improving client protection in microfinance. After working with ten microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world to test adherence to the six principles of client protection, several of those MFIs are already taking concrete steps to do more for their poor clients.  In Mexico, a microfinance cooperative is now offering financial education to its clients; in Bosnia, an MFI is piloting a debt counseling program; and in the Philippines, a rural bank has launched a new system to receive client feedback via text messages. 

Learn more about the Center's action research project >>



Microcredit? Microsavings? Microfinance.

ACCION's Elisabeth Rhyne on why microcredit and microsavings are really just two sides of the same coin. Click here to read the blog post >> 


Upcoming Events

 Jan. 26–27: Singapore - Microfinance Investments in Asia

View all events >>



Financial Times covers ACCION's announcement that it will open up a new microfinance institution in the underserved region of Manaus, Brazil.  Read more >>

Financial Times discusses the Gates Foundation grants to ACCION and other microfinance organizations to help the world’s poorest people to save. Read more >>

Michael Schlein, ACCION CEO, is named one of the "Year’s Most Influential People in Business Ethics" by Ethisphere.

Microfinance Focus covers ACCION’s successful implementation of its Dialogue on Business training program for marginalized women in India. Read more >>

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Boiling Over with Promise: Grace Galus Ulaya and her Unconventional Enterprise

It could be a scene from Macbeth. Two women hover over boiling cauldrons, stirring large lumps of curdling blood, impervious to the smoke swirling around them. But no, this is a chicken feed business, and boiling blood is the first step...

Click here to read Grace's
story >>




ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need – microloans, business training and other financial services – to work their way out of poverty. A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. Today, ACCION’s partner microfinance institutions serve more than 3.7 million poor entrepreneurs per year in 23 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the United States.
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