Accion U.S. Network Partner Spotlight: Accion San Diego
By Allison Lasher
“Accion San Diego was the only institution that believed in helping me.”
– Maria Solano, Accion San Diego client
Accion San Diego was founded in 1994 and is a member of the Accion US Network. Today, Accion San Diego works in San Diego County to achieve their mission to provide economic opportunity for primarily low-to-moderate-income business owners who lack access to traditional sources of credit. In recent years, Accion San Diego has experienced much growth, as highlighted in UT San Diego’s recent interview with the network member.
Since its inception, Accion San Diego has disbursed over 2,700 loans totaling almost $17 million. This network member’s loan range is $300-$35,000 and has an average loan size of $10,000. These loans have in turn contributed to job growth creating and sustaining an estimated 900 jobs per year.
In addition to their impressive lending figures, Accion San Diego provides business education and resources to clients. The San Diego office holds quarterly workshops on legal entities, marketing, and website design among other topics. Accion San Diego also works to match each borrower with an appropriate business resource or community partner based on the client’s needs. Finally, Accion San Diego gives clients the opportunity to improve their credit scores to help them achieve financial independence, sustainability, and business confidence. The organization also provides monthly publicity opportunities for clients to assist them in promoting their business, as well as ongoing networking opportunities.
Each year, Accion San Diego provides these resources and educational opportunities to over 1,500 businesses and direct loans to 100-160 clients. The San Diego office, much like other Accion offices around the nation, strives to serve diverse clients. Among their borrowers, 45% are women and more than 60% identify as an ethnic minority. Through their efforts in San Diego, Accion San Diego helps to grow small business and create economic stability in the area.