Monday, October 4, 2010

ACCION San Diego is featured in the San Diego Business Journal's Nonprofit Profile!

According to their website, "each week, the award-winning San Diego Business Journal examines the many ways that the San Diego economy operates. Together with the economic news, demographics and lifestyle profiles, the San Diego Business Journal is presented in an accessible format. First-rate editorial and research teams provide in-depth analysis of the community’s ever-changing business and economic scene." This week ACCION San Diego's Executive Director is featured in the journal's Nonprofit Profile! Elizabeth Makee puts her heart and soul into this organization and we are very proud to have her as a leading member of the ACCION team.

Nonprofit Profile: Elizabeth Makee
Monday, October 4, 2010
Accion San Diego Executive Director Elizabeth Makee has been working with the organization for six years. She is also a board member of the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity and serves as a member of the San Diego Microfinance Alliance, Comerica Community Development Advisory Committee and the Torrey Pines Community Reinvestment Advisory Board.

ORGANIZATION
Mission of organization: The mission of Accion San Diego is to provide economic opportunity for primarily low- to moderate-income business owners who lack access to traditional sources of credit. Through business loans ranging from $300 to $35,000 and support services, Accion San Diego strengthens the roots of emerging entrepreneurs and helps them to thrive in their communities, creating social and economic change.

Year founded: 1994.
Milestone: Over 15 years serving entrepreneurs with more than 2,500 loans worth almost $15 million.
Annual revenue: $1,050,000.
Administrative expense as percent of revenue: 3 percent.
Corporate support as percent of revenue: 25 percent.
Corporate supporters: Bank of America, Bank of the West, California Bank & Trust, Citibank, Comerica Bank, Furniture Resources, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Ralphs, Torrey Pines Bank, Union Bank N.A., U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Board chairman: Gordon Boerner, managing director of Banking Services, U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve.
No. of board members: 14.
No. of employees: 9.
No. of volunteers: 12.
Event: Annual San Diego Microfinance Summit.
Wish list: Ten black conference room swivel chairs, a camera for client site visits, and free advertising and marketing opportunities to help spread the word about small-business resources.

OFFICE ISSUES
Recent challenge: Getting the word out to small-business owners in San Diego about Accion’s resources.
Measures of success: Clients served, businesses funded, jobs created and/or maintained and repayment on loans.
Smartest move: Relocating to the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center building.
Misconception: Accion San Diego assists small-business owners with poor credit and/or gives grants. The program does provide loans from $300 to $35,000 for startup and existing business owners with no credit history and those who have had past credit challenges. However, we do require that the borrower be current on their credit payments upon applying and they are loans, not grants.

PROFESSIONAL INSIGHTS
Personal path to nonprofit work: I had a passion for helping the community and working for a great communications firm that donated many services to nonprofits and introduced me to Accion International. I became passionate about microfinance and realized that AccionAccion San Diego ever since.
Toughest aspect: Fundraising and limited resources.
Biggest pains: Technology and not having enough hours in the day.
Greatest pleasures: Seeing all of the different types of businesses we serve and watching our programs have a positive impact.

INTROSPECTIONS
Best recent moment: Receiving a city of San Diego Community Development Block Grant funding award for 2011.
Worst recent moment: Not receiving Community Development Financial Institution funding.
Dream for another life: Traveling the world with an around-the-world ticket.
Downtime: Spending time with family and friends, helping others, outdoor activities and, of course, traveling!

CLICK HERE to check out the website where this article is featured!

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