Where Your $ Goes
Accion has been leveraging generous support from individuals like you for 50 years. Your donations make it possible for us to focus on those regions and people that have yet to be adequately served by microfinance. You can be confident that your hard work raising money for MicroBike will result in nothing less than tangible economic opportunities for hardworking families around the world.
Here are a couple of projects currently underway that your MicroBike funds will help to move forward:
Branch Expansion in Northeast India
Background: In 2009, Accion began supporting a small microfinance institution in the impoverished Indian state of Bihar. Located in the remote northeast region of the country, Bihar suffers from some of the highest rates of poverty in the world. More than seven million people there live below the poverty line and only 4% of the people who could benefit from microcredit are currently being served. Accion saw an opportunity to empower Bihar’s microentrepreneurs and their families to work their way out of poverty.
Current stage: As part of its plan to expand the reach of microfinance in India’s underserved regions, Accion has partnered with Saija Finance Ltd., a Bihar-based MFI, to provide microloans to poor entrepreneurs in the region. So far, the partnership has been enormously successful—Saija currently serves over 9,000 people and has a 100% repayment rate.
Expansion plans: With Accion’s technical and investment support, Saija plans to build seven new branches by 2014 to serve 500,000 new clients, mainly women who operate home-based businesses such as raising livestock, making mosquito nets and preparing food for sale.
How your support helps: In raising money through MicroBike, you are helping to cover costs to build and operate each new branch in the period before it becomes self-sustaining (about 12 months). Learn more >
Financial Literacy Education
Background: Financial literacy is key to helping people become informed and empowered consumers of microfinance services such as credit, savings and insurance. That is why Accion has been educating the poor on both household finance basics and business best practices since 1996. To date, Accion has reached over 800,000 low-income people in Latin America with courses, workshops and training materials. Now, Accion is committed to expanding this successful program to other continents and contexts.
Current stage: Accion’s financial education and microenterprise training programs are in an exciting growth stage. The programs are expanding their reach, both by:
- Expanding out of Latin America into India. Accion has been working to translate its successful educational materials from Spanish into several languages spoken in South India, where they have trained over 1,600 women microentrepreneurs so far.
- Exploring new ways to reach more people with critical financial education lessons more easily such as on the web, through video and using broadcast media.
Expansion plans: After piloting online microenterprise training in Colombia, Accion is now working to bring online education to other countries in Latin America. In India, Accion is working with partner Muthoot Finance to train over 20,000 women in the next three years.
How your support helps: In raising money through MicroBike, you are helping to teach valuable lessons that will empower thousands of people with the knowledge and skills to maximize financial services and create life-changing opportunities for their families. Learn more >
Establish Banks for the Poor throughout West Africa
Background: West Africa presents unique challenges to building inclusive finance. The region is one of the poorest in the world with the GDP of 10 out of 15 countries in the region falling under $400 in 2000. In terms of finance, Africa defines ‘unbanked’: only one percent of the population has obtained loans from formal financial institutions. Accion set out to change that, using its expertise in lending to the poor and to open up a series of microfinance institutions in the region, with a particular focus on savings. So far, Accion, along with a local partner, has successfully launched operations in Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon that served over 16,800 people with loans and over 92,300 people with savings accounts as of January 31, 2011.
Current stage: Accion and partner Ecobank have opened a new microfinance bank in the city of Douala, last April that serves low-income people with microloans, secure savings accounts, insurance products and other important financial services.
Expansion plans: Accion and Ecobank seek to expand into other cities in Cameroon and throughout the region in order to serve 33,000 borrowers and 83,000 people with savings accounts in the first five years, helping previously “un-banked” people to expand their businesses, increase their profits and save for a better future.
How your support helps: In raising money through MicroBike, you are helping to empower people in with microfinance services in one of the most unbanked regions in the world. Learn more >