ACCION plans to expand in northern region, serve 30,000 clients in Manaus - Brazil
By Jorge Porter
Business News Americas
Friday, June 24, 2011

ACCION International plans to expand in Brazil's north following the recent opening of a microfinance organization in Manaus called ACCION Microfinanças, which aims to attend around 30,000 micro entrepreneurs during its first three year of operations, Eduardo Lucchesi, CEO of ACCION Microfinanças, told BNamericas.

Earlier this month, the nonprofit microlending and microfinance organization inaugurated ACCION Microfinanças Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state in northern Brazil, where access to financial services remains more limited than in most of the country.

ACCION's expansion plan mainly targets the capitals of the different states such as Belém, as well as some secondary cities in Amazonas, Lucchesi said.

"We chose Manaus as our headquarters due to the interesting potential market of micro entrepreneurs, as well as the lack of institutions operating microfinance. We aim to create, in the heart of the Amazon, the first bank specialized in microfinance in the Brazilian market," he said.

BROADER GAMUT OF PRODUCTS
ACCION Microfinanças today offers lines of credit, longer-term fixed asset loans, financial education and, eventually, micro-insurance products and credit cards.

"We plan to offer other financial services such as micro insurance products and other kinds of loans according to the target market's needs, as well as non-financial services such as financial education and training in partnership with other organizations," Lucchesi said.

Co-investors in ACCION Microfinanças include the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private investors.

ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. Over time, ACCION has helped build 62 microfinance institutions in 31 countries on four continents.

To read the full press release on ACCION Microfinanças' launch, go to this link.