Featured Investment: Accion
As part of our two-generational approach to improving the lives of Colorado’s low-income children and their families, Gary Community Investments is committed to helping prepare children for educational success from an early age while simultaneously equipping their parents with the tools they need to create healthy family environments and achieve long-term financial security. One of our strategies for creating community and economic development opportunities for families living in low-income families includes investing in local and national community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that provide credit and financial services to underserved populations.
We recently announce our first CDFI investment in Accion, a nonprofit dedicated to providing social and financial capital to entrepreneurs to support job creation, family economic security and child well-being. Through a combination of philanthropic and social impact investments, we are providing $2 million in funding to Accion over the next two years, helping the organization significantly grow its footprint in Colorado so it can increase its capacity to create opportunities for entrepreneurs, generate and sustain jobs, alleviate poverty, support early childhood growth and academics through family entrepreneurship, and grow small businesses.
Accion provides business loans from $200 to $500,000+, along with training, networking and other support services, to those who own or want to start a business and have difficulty accessing capital from banking institutions. Approximately 80 percent of Accion borrowers are low- to moderate-income income, minority or female individuals. Although Accion has been doing business in Colorado since 2008, our funding will allow the organization to significantly ramp up the number of low-income families it serves over the next two years.
In addition, Gary Community Investments support is helping Accion move forward with its Sustainability and High Impact Initiative, which will allow the organization to have its costs almost completely covered by its lending program. By 2017, Accion anticipates that 90% of its operating costs will be covered by program income, allowing it to become a permanent, self-sustaining resource for Colorado entrepreneurs to access social and financial capital.
To learn more about Gary Community Investments' investment in Accion, read this article from the Denver Business Journal.