Realizing our vision of a financially inclusive world requires efforts on multiple fronts. Our investing initiatives reflect our commitment to cultivating a financial ecosystem that will enhance the efficiency, reach and scope of financial services for millions of people living in poverty around the world.
Think of our investments as grouped in two broad categories: investments in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and investments beyond MFIs – these are companies that offer products and services for people living in poverty or, as they are commonly known in the industry, those at the base of the economic pyramid.
We help microfinance institutions reach meaningful scale and sustainability and to broaden significantly the range of financial products and services they offer to their clients. We provide early-stage equity, quasi-equity financing and loan guarantees to help MFIs become independent of donor funds, build their capital base, attract deposits and attain financial leverage through the following vehicles:
Accion Gateway Fund: This private fund provides equity and quasi-equity capital to MFIs in greenfield or early-stage operations that demonstrate a potential for strong financial and social returns to their shareholders.
Accion's Bridge Guarantee Program: This loan guarantee program serves as a conduit between socially responsible investors and MFIs. It extends loan guarantees that support an MFI’s access to local capital markets, expanding its funding sources and enabling its growth and development.
Many compelling financial services and methods to serve the entrepreneurial poor are being developed outside of traditional brick-and-mortar MFIs. To help serve those companies, we created two unique investment funds:
Venture Lab: This U.S. $10 million fund provides seed funding and technical assistance to promising start-ups whose goal is to broaden financial inclusion but which are often considered by others to be “pre-investable.”
Frontier Investments Group: This hands-on equity partner invests in early-stage, post-revenue companies that have moved beyond the seed stage. It focuses on specific sectors that promise new solutions for underserved markets.