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


Beth Rhyne at FI2020Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum kicks off in London

This week, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion hosted the Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum, with participation and sponsorship from Citi, MasterCard, Visa Inc., and many others. This diverse coalition attracted more than 300 leaders in finance, technology, government and the nonprofit community to chart a course towards full financial inclusion by the year 2020 – just weeks after World Bank President Jim Yong Kim embraced the same goal.

Read more in the press release »

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Certified CEOsFirst microfinance institutions in Latin America certified for strong client protection practices

The Smart Campaign recently announced the first three microfinance institutions in Latin America to become Client Protection Certified for meeting strong standards of client care: Pro Mujer Mexico, and Fundación Mundo Mujer Popayan and Crezcamos in Colombia. They join six other institutions from Eastern Europe and South Asia that have all achieved this certification since the program launched in January 2013. Together, the nine certified institutions serve more than 2.1 million clients worldwide and there are many more institutions on their way to this important goal.

Click here to read the press release »

Accion East client One year after Sandy: How microfinance loans helped rebuilding efforts

It’s been a year since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast of the United States, resulting in economic damages totaling over $50 billion. Following the storm, Accion East quickly developed a new loan program to offer loans with a three-month deferment period, low interest and all fees waived to business owners. In its eight months of operation, the loan program has disbursed over $1.1 million in loan and grant funds to 80 small business owners, which has enabled them to save 282 jobs and create 27 new positions.

Click here to read the press release »

Educate Yourself

Airplane Think globally, innovate locally

Paul Breloff, director of Accion’s Venture Lab, our seed-stage impact-investment initiative, recently shared his recipe for successful investment in start-ups: “In our experience, the only way to succeed is to be there.” Paul’s team practices what they preach. By working “in the field,” Venture Lab employees are able to find investable up-and-coming companies more efficiently, and provide hands-on support to help them grow.

Read more on the NextBillion blog »

Client in Nigeria World Bank sets goal to achieve universal financial access by 2020

With 2.5 billion adults worldwide still lacking access to banking services, and close to 200 million micro- and medium-sized enterprises lacking access to affordable financial services and credit, leaders at the annual meeting for the World Bank asserted the need to achieve universal financial access by 2020. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim proclaimed at the meeting, "Universal access to financial services is within reach – thanks to new technologies, transformative business models and ambitious reforms. "

Read more on the Center for Financial Inclusion blog »

Success Story

Gaining profit from passion in Brazil

While working with her daughter on a school science project, Silvia de Freitas discovered a passion for working with cold porcelain – a self-hardening clay that can be made at home using simple ingredients. So she started a business, and with the help of a small loan from Accion Microfinanças, Silvia's enterprise has expanded and become known throughout the city of Manaus, Brazil.

Read Silvia's full story – and get her cold porcelain recipe – on our website »

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Upcoming Events

SEEP Annual Conference

Alexandria, VA
November 4-7, 2013
The SEEP Network is a global network of 130 international practitioner organizations dedicated to combating poverty through promoting inclusive markets and financial systems. Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion will be attending.

ACCESS Microfinance India Summit

Delhi, India
December 9-10, 2013
ACCESS Microfinance India is a national platform that facilitates informed conversations among key stakeholders in the microfinance sector, and works toward enabling policies for improving access to finance for poor households, as well as improving practices related to responsible finance. Accion will be a sponsor and exhibitor, and the Smart Campaign will announce new Indian MFIs that have been Client Protection Certified.

About Us

Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world with access to economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. A world pioneer in microfinance, over the last 50 years we have helped build 63 microfinance institutions in 32 countries on four continents. Those institutions are currently reaching millions of clients. The Accion U.S. Network is the largest microfinance network in the United States and, since inception, has served hundreds of thousands of clients with loans and support. For further information, visit


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