Accion is a global nonprofit on a mission to create a fair and inclusive economy.

Every day, the global financial system fails nearly two billion people. They are low-income small business owners, smallholder farmers, and women — the people who are most impacted by climate change, economic instability, and conflict. They lack a safe place to save their money, credit to manage and grow their businesses, insurance to protect against climate disasters, and other high-quality, affordable financial services that many of us take for granted. 

We work with local partners to develop and scale responsible digital financial solutions for underserved people globally, so they can make informed decisions and improve their lives. 

350m

People

Since our founding, Accion has reached more than 350 million underserved people globally.

235+

partners

Accion has helped build more than 235 financial service providers operating across 75 countries.

26.6M

Users

In 2022 alone, 26.6 million people were actively using tools provided by our financial service provider partners.

OUR APPROACH

We drive social impact in local communities and global systems.

How we workFinancial services are powerful tools to help reduce poverty and create opportunity

a farmer tends to her plants in Odisha, India

We find and help build innovative companies with the potential to reach large numbers of underserved people and accelerate their growth by investing capital and providing strategic governance and advice.

Maria, a client of Genesis in Guatemala

We work with partners to create affordable digital solutions that build clients’ financial health and well-being. Accion Advisory leverages expertise in digital technologies to design, test, and deploy new financial products and services. 

Jihan Abass working with Lami employees in Kenya

We conduct in-depth research and share our learnings to advance responsible financial solutions and systems. The Center for Financial Inclusion, an independent think tank housed at Accion, focuses on consumer protection, women’s economic inclusion, data risks and opportunities, and climate change. 

Our History

“We adapt our work to meet the most urgent challenges, opening pathways to a brighter, more resilient future.”

For more than 60 years, we have led the way in inclusive finance, shaping an industry that now benefits hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

1961

Accion Founded

Accion was founded by Joe Blatchford, a UC Berkeley law student who later became the 3rd Director of the U.S. Peace Corps. We began with hands-on development projects in Venezuela.

1970s

Launching Microcredit

Accion focused on the lack of economic opportunity in Latin American cities and began issuing small loans to microentrepreneurs in Recife, Brazil, launching microfinance in Latin America.

1980s

Expanding in Latin America

Accion helped start microfinance programs in 14 Latin American countries to meet the distinct needs of microenterprises. Accion’s clients shattered the myth that lending to low-income people was too risky. During this time, Accion also launched a loan guarantee fund, the Accion Bridge Fund.

1991

Bringing Inclusive Finance to the U.S.

Accion piloted a microlending program in Brooklyn, NY. Accion Opportunity Fund is now the leading nonprofit small business lender in the U.S., serving a client base that’s more than 90% women, people of color, and/or low-to-moderate income.

1992

Inventing a New Model
of Microfinance

Accion co-founded BancoSol in Bolivia, the world’s first private commercial bank for the poor, effectively inventing a model of socially responsible, financially viable microfinance that today impacts the lives of hundreds of millions of low-income clients globally.

Woman entrepreneur and client of Sub-K in India

2000s

Global Expansion

Throughout the 2000s, Accion extended operations into Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to reach and support financially underserved people beyond Latin America.

2003

World’s First Global
Equity Fund for
Microfinance

Accion opened doors to private bank funding for microfinance institutions through Accion Investments in Microfinance, allowing inclusive financial service providers to reach more people and establish relationships with the formal financial sector.

2007

World’s First IPO in
Financial Inclusion

The initial public offering of Compartamos Banco in Mexico, the world’s first IPO of an inclusive financial service provider, was a demonstration model for the industry and enabled Accion to expand its mission-driven investments aimed at creating a fair and inclusive economy.

2008

Founding the Center
for Financial Inclusion

Accion established CFI as an independent think tank working to advance a more inclusive and responsible financial system. CFI leverages partnerships to conduct rigorous research, test promising solutions, and advocate for evidence-based change.

2012

Developing Inclusive Fintech

Accion launched Accion Venture Lab, a seed-stage impact investment initiative focused on inclusive fintech. To date, Accion Venture Lab has invested in and supported more than 60 innovative start-ups that expand the reach, quality, and affordability of financial services at scale.

Amelia sells to a customer in Indonesia

2015

World’s First Global
Inclusive Fintech Fund

Accion launched the first global inclusive fintech fund: the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, managed by Quona Capital. This and subsequent Quona funds harness the power of the capital markets to improve the quality and availability of financial services.

Daniela in her shop

2020

Building Resilience to
Unprecedented Threats

Accion is working to build an inclusive recovery from the global pandemic. We’re also addressing worsening threats caused by climate change, economic instability, and conflict, focusing our efforts on supporting small businesses, smallholder farmers, and women.

Today

As people’s needs evolve, so does our strategy

We are now developing responsible financial solutions in agritech finance, embedded finance, and innovations addressing the changing nature of work.

Our Leadership

We are a diverse, global team of experts and changemakers who are passionate about locally-led innovation for inclusion. 

Usha Ran Swain

Financials and Annual Reports

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Man in market holding a mobile phone and smiling

Join Us

Our mission is more urgent than ever.

With global poverty rising, you can help make essential financial services available to millions of people who would otherwise be left out.

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