Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Accion San Diego Celebrates Its 20th Year of Impact in San Diego County [Press Release]


Accion San Diego, a nonprofit microlender offering business loans from $300 to $75,000, celebrated its 20th anniversary this month. After two decades of supporting local entrepreneurs, the organization today supports thousands of small businesses annually and has provided more than 3,200 loans totaling more than $22 million in its 20-year history.

When Accion San Diego launched in 1994, it started with a handful of staff and made five loans totaling $6,000 in its first year. The organization has since grown, lending almost $2.5 million in 2013 and currently employing 16 staff in two offices in San Diego and Vista. This year, the organization is on track to have an increase again, serving more small business owners with access to capital, as it ends Q3 with a total of $2,057,442 disbursed in loan dollars in 2014. This is a 23% increase over the same timeframe in 2013. The almost 600 entrepreneurs that make up Accion’s portfolio use their loans to support their families and ultimately boot the regional economy, creating or sustaining more than 1,300 jobs in the San Diego region.

The organization formally celebrated its impact on Oct. 9th with its 20th Accion-iversary Event held at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center where its main offices are housed. This event gathered more than 200 community supporters, Accion clients, staff and board members to a reception-style celebration. This client-centric event featured a marketplace of client vendors, as well as testimonials, awards, performances and silent auction items.

“We wanted every aspect of the celebration to highlight what we as Accion staff are most passionate about: our clients,” said Accion San Diego’s CEO Elizabeth Schott.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke at the event, proclaiming Oct. 9th, 2014 as “Accion San Diego Day” in the city of San Diego. Furthermore, Hanis Cavin and Sara Stroud, Accion clients and owners of Carnitas' Snack Shack in North Park, were recognized with an award as the "Entrepreneurs of the Year”. Carnitas’ Snack Shack received an $11,000 start-up loan in 2011 from Accion and began their restaurant business with 3 employees. They are now working on their third location, now employing almost 60 people and currently donors of Accion San Diego.

Another awardee of the night was founding board member, William Lynch with the first-ever Accion San Diego Hall of Fame Charter Inductee Award for his 20 years of dedication and contribution as a board member.

“Bill Lynch is well-known in this town for his philanthropy toward children’s literacy initiatives, but he’s also been the tireless and enduring time, talent and treasury contributor to Accion San Diego’s mission,” said Accion San Diego board chair Gordon Boerner. “His contribution has resulted in $22 million in small loans awarded to existing and start-up micro-entrepreneurs throughout the San Diego region over the past 20 years.”

Eight other awards were presented to various community partners, recognizing their long-time contributions to the mission of the organization.

For more information about Accion’s 20th-anniversary visit: http://20years.accionsandiego.org

About Accion San Diego

Accion San Diego is a non-profit microlender dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs with the accessible financing and resources it takes to create or grow healthy businesses. By providing loans ranging from $300 to $75,000, it creates opportunity for increased income, economic stability and employment. Since 1994, Accion has provided more than 3,200 loans totaling more than $22 million in San Diego County.

Accion San Diego is a member of the Accion U.S. Network, the largest micro- and small business-lending network in the United States. The network’s five members have collectively made more than 45,000 loans totaling more than $350 million. Globally, Accion is a pioneer in microfinance, reaching millions of individuals through its international network of partners. For more information on Accion San Diego, visit www.accionsandiego.org.


Contact: Joseph Lee
(619) 795-7250 ext. 408

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