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Article Archives: New Mexico

ACCION New Mexico: Reaching Entrepreneurs
ACCION New Mexico is a CDFI and a member of the U.S. ACCION Network. The CDFI was created to increase access to business credit and training for emerging entrepreneurs throughout the state. The organization was founded in 1994 by New Mexico community and business leaders who sought to remove the barriers to credit for hardworking New Mexican entrepreneurs who had modest capital needs, thin credit histories, or limited collateral. Since its inception, it has financed more than 3,600 micro and small business loans in amounts of $200 to $150,000 to more than 2,000 businesses in more than 150 communities.

ACCION uses a "stepped lending" model that enables entrepreneurs to obtain small initial loans. After establishing a repayment history, they may apply for larger loans. More than $21 million in loans has created or sustained more than 3,500 jobs. The organization has a 94 percent repayment rate. ACCION achieved those statistics with the support of a network of banks and nonprofit partners throughout New Mexico.

ACCION uses referrals from previous customers, informational sessions, a phone application process, and mobile loan fairs to contact prospective clients. Almost 65 percent of the loans are made to low- and moderate-income clients. Of the client base, 57 percent of the clients are minorities, and 50 percent are women. ACCION operates under the leadership of a 29-member volunteer board and a permanent staff of 20. Most of the organization's funding comes from private sources.

For more information, e-mail Anne Haines Yatskowitz, President and CEO.

[Community Developments Investments, Fall 2008]