Please share your mission.
Accion is a nonprofit that helps communities grow by investing in underserved entrepreneurs who build businesses and generate jobs in their neighborhoods.
Describe how your organization lives/realizes its mission.
Through our Accion in Your Neighborhood Program, our goal is to expand economic security for underserved entrepreneurs and residents in 15 of Chicago’s highest-need neighborhoods (Archer Heights, Austin, Auburn Gresham, Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Chatham, East Garfield Park, Englewood, Little Village, North Lawndale, Pilsen, South Chicago, Washington Park, West Englewood, and West Garfield Park). By providing underserved entrepreneurs with access to the tools of business ownership — capital, coaching, and connections — Accion is increasing the capacity for these entrepreneurs to build vibrant local businesses that fuel new employment, new sources of revenue, and ultimately, new pathways to increased prosperity for families in some of Chicago’s most challenged neighborhoods. Short-term goals for 2018 include providing business coaching and education to 800 entrepreneurs in these 15 high-need communities (100 of whom will obtain a small business loan). One critical program outcome is that these 100 loans will create or maintain 300 jobs that will generate more than $5 million in local payroll in neighborhoods in real need of economic opportunity. Consistent third-party studies show that on average each Accion loan creates between 3 and 5 jobs. We will also host 10 different Accion in Your Neighborhood events throughout these communities. Each event is hosted by an Accion client at their business, creating a space to talk about issues facing the community.