LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT AND BOARD CHAIR

Our goal is to help people overcome challenges with strength, with dignity,
and with the critical financial tools they need to help them succeed.

MICHAEL SCHLEIN

President and CEO

 

DIANA L. TAYLOR

Board Chair

DEAR FRIENDS: In the world of international development, we think about the range of interventions that are needed to truly make a difference in the lives of the world’s poor. Certainly those interventions include health care, education, clean water, the rule of law, and, we firmly believe, access to financial services.

Our vision is full financial inclusion. We help individuals build businesses and support their families. We help institutions attract investment and reach scale – and in doing so, we not only create great institutions but also inspire others to help develop a strong, competitive industry that, over time, will thrive and innovate to better serve the financial needs of the 2.5 billion people who live in poverty and lack access to financial services.

To build a financially inclusive world, we are helping to create and expand strong, client-focused microfinance institutions all over the world. In addition to our ongoing work with MFIs in Latin America, Africa, India, and the United States, we are expanding financial inclusion in China and beyond – and, soon, even in Myanmar, one of the the final frontiers of development.

The second pillar of our strategy centers on investment in innovation. We provide early- and seed-stage venture capital for start-up businesses developing transformational ways to meet the financial-services needs of the poor. In the next few pages, we have included highlights of the recent investments we have made through our Frontier Investments Group and Venture Lab initiatives.

The third pillar of our strategy recognizes that industry-wide challenges require industry-wide solutions. In 2013 our Center for Financial Inclusion launched FI2020, an audacious, industry-wide initiative that sets 2020 as the focal point for rallying key leaders to work toward a common vision. Convening an expansive array of diverse players – mobile-network operators, banks, payment companies, retailers, insurance providers, regulators, tech start-ups, microfinance leaders, and more – FI2020 kicked off with a Global Forum in London late last year, all to help develop new alliances and chart the path toward full financial inclusion. We’re also proud to report that the Center’s Smart Campaign for consumer protection continues to grow. The Campaign has now been endorsed by more than 1,450 MFIs in 130 countries that collectively reach some 77 million clients – protecting them against over-indebtedness, bad collection practices, opaque pricing, and more.

Through such initiatives a new world is starting to take shape, and we are privileged to be part of it. In our work we travel constantly, meeting clients. And every time we do, it is enormously humbling. We’re reminded that whatever challenges we face in our own lives, they are nothing compared to those faced by the people we serve. Our goal is to help them meet and overcome those challenges with strength, with dignity, and with the critical financial tools they need to help them succeed.

Thank you for your continued support.

MICHAEL SCHLEIN

President and CEO

DIANA L. TAYLOR

Board Chair

 

63
MFIS

Microfinance institutions
built in 32 countries on four
continents since 1961

97
PERCENT

Loan repayment rate
over time, worldwide

 

18.4
MILLION

People served in the past decade
through 83 million microloans,
totaling $69.2 billion lent

6.6
MILLION

Active borrowers in 2013,
impacting the lives of 33 million
family members and employees

our Clients

We invite you to explore the stories of our clients and their families.
They inspire us, and they serve as good examples of how millions of people are working their way up the economic ladder, with dignity and pride.

                  

X

MOVING TOWARD FULL
FINANCIAL INCLUSION

WE ENVISION A WORLD IN WHICH EVERY PERSON HAS ACCESS TO A RANGE OF HIGH-QUALITY,

AFFORDABLE FINANCIAL SERVICES AND PRODUCTS – CREDIT, SAVINGS, INSURANCE, PAYMENTS,

FINANCIAL EDUCATION – PROVIDED IN A RESPECTFUL AND CONVENIENT MANNER.

 

 

 

OUR STRATEGY

FIRST, TO BUILD THE NEXT GENERATION OF TOP-TIER
MICROFINANCE INSTITUTIONS:

  1. We are expanding into Myanmar, one of the poorest countries in Asia, where almost 90 percent of the population lacks access to formal financial services.
  2. In partnership with Grassland Finance, we continued expanding in China, extending our current operations in Inner Mongolia, and launching new operations in Wanzhou, with plans for further expansion into Hunan Province and into Pudong, outside Shanghai.
  3. We celebrated the first anniversary of Avanza, our pilot program to significantly increase microlending efficiency in Colombia. Since its launch, the program has disbursed more than 9,000 loans valued at over $8 million.
  4. We made our initial investment in Filipino banks that serve the poor through our new partnership with Bridge Philippines.
  5. We established a Channels & Technology unit to expand financial inclusion through the smarter use of digital technologies and distribution channels.
  6. We completed a program initiated in 2008 with a $4.2-million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank to extend financial products and services to rural areas in Latin America. The project trained 420,000 microentrepreneurs, acquired 350,000 credit clients, and enlisted 1,400 banking agents and 273 mobile agents.
  7. We also completed a multiyear, multinational savings project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create initiatives that would generate awareness and foster a culture of savings among poorer Latin Americans, particularly in Colombia and Ecuador, where we developed and tested innovative savings products. One of those products won the 2013 Accenture Colombia Award for Innovative Concepts in Financial Services.
  8. We continued exploring the potential for new alliances with MFIs to advance financial inclusion in such countries as Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, and more.

SECOND, TO PUSH THE FRONTIERS OF FINANCIAL
INCLUSION BEYOND MICROFINANCE:

  1. We invested in more innovative start-ups that serve the poor through our seed-stage investment initiative, Venture Lab. Companies include Kopo Kopo, Quippi, and eMoneyPool.
  2. We supported the continued growth of innovative companies such as Azimo through Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, our growth-stage investments arm.
  3. Venture Lab and Frontier Investments continued establishing a recognized international voice in in the field of impact investing through bylined articles, opinion pieces, and conferences and events around the world.
  4. Accion’s Frontier Investments Group began transforming into a third-party fund in order to substantially increase its potential impact in serving those at the base of the economic pyramid.
  5. We were recognized by ImpactAssets 50 for the second consecutive year for our ability to deliver both social and financial returns through our investments.

THIRD, TO HELP BUILD A STRONGER INDUSTRY WITH HIGH STANDARDS
AND BROAD ENGAGEMENT:

  1. Through Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion, we launched Financial Inclusion 2020, an audacious and extensive initiative designed to catalyze action around full financial inclusion and to chart a course for getting there.
  2. We launched Smart Campaign Certification, a program to promote and ingrain client-protection principles in MFIs worldwide, and have certified 19 organizations to date.
  3. We published a framework for microfinance institutions seeking to close the financial-inclusion gap for people with disabilities.
  4. We made significant advances in research and industry collaboration through the Microfinance CEO Working Group, published analyses of over-indebtedness, and committed to a series of specific actions to promote financial inclusion.
  5. We partnered with The Economist’s Intelligence Unit to co-sponsor its annual “Microscope” report on the microfinance business climate in 55 countries.
  6. We have trained more than 80,000 people in India with financial literacy and business skills since launching our client education programs in 2008.
  7. We celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Ambassadors volunteer program, which has deployed more than 75 volunteers to a dozen Accion partners on four continents.

 

 

 

 

ACCION IN THE UNITED STATES:

THE ACCION U.S. NETWORK INCREASES ACCESS BY SCALING INNOVATION, BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS, AND FOCUSING ON RIGOROUS IMPACT EVALUATION AND RESEARCH.

  1. Since 1991, member organizations in the Accion U.S. Network have provided nearly 50,000 loans totaling over $406 million. In 2013 alone, they lent more than $46 million to businesses nationwide.
  2. We managed the execution of La Idea, an USAID and State Department initiative to encourage economic interaction between businesses in the U.S. and Latin America, connecting Latino entrepreneurs, providing them with business education, business resources, and access to financing. As a result of La Idea, more than 1,000 Latino entrepreneurs were trained at business events in eleven U.S. cities and five Latin American cities.
  3. Accion’s 2013 microTracker study demonstrated that Accion loan recipients are key contributors to local economies, with loan recipients with employees creating or retaining 4.8 jobs on average; that 97 percent of Accion loan recipients are still in business one year post-loan; and that 47 percent of loan recipients report satisfaction with the income earned from their business.
  4. Members of all five lending organizations, Accion Network, and Accion International convened in Texas for a series of exciting board meetings, client visits, and dialogue in which they shared key learnings, advanced industry standards in domestic and international microfinance, and developed strong professional relationships.

2013 MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Accion Chicago, the city of Chicago, and World Business Chicago teamed up to create Seed Chicago, a program promoting projects by small business owners via Kickstarter.
  • Through a new online loan application, a mobile-friendly website, and instant income-verification technology, Accion East has cut turnaround time and doubled its application completion rate.
  • Former president Bill Clinton joined Accion Texas, Kiva, and Visa to launch Kiva City Little Rock, an initiative that expands the availability of microloans locally.
  • Accion New Mexico • Arizona • Colorado launched the “Presto Loan,” a loan product creating greater economic access for entrepreneurs by allowing for one-hour turnaround.
  • Accion San Diego designed the Accion Academy for Entrepreneurial Success, a business-education program that qualifies participants upon graduation for a $5,000 business loan.

Financials

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

 

2013 KEY STATISTICS

ALL MONETARY STATISTICS IN U .S. $

YOUR SUPPORT IS POWERFUL

YOUR SUPPORT BENEFITS NOT ONLY PEOPLE TODAY,

BUT GENERATIONS TO COME. THANK YOU.

There are many ways to give.

OUTRIGHT GIFTS
You can make an outright gift using our website at www.accion.org/donate.

SUSTAINERS SOCIETY
Join the Sustainers Society and demonstrate your commitment to bringing financial empowerment to millions of people by making automatic monthly contributions to Accion.

RECIFE SOCIETY
The Recife Society honors and recognizes those loyal supporters who are helping to ensure the future empowerment of hardworking people worldwide through planned giving. Accion advisors can help guide you with gift strategies that provide your family with tax advantages.

TRIBUTE GIFTS
Make a donation in honor of someone special. Let us know who you would like to honor, and we’ll send a gift card or letter acknowledging that you’ve made a donation to Accion in his or her name.

A GIFT OF STOCK
Accion welcomes tax-deductible contributions in the form of securities. When you donate this way, you support our work by contributing appreciated assets without incurring capital gains taxes.

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENTS
Accion’s Bridge Guarantee Lenders allows individual investors to help secure the financial sustainability of microfinance institutions around the world while earning both social and financial returns.

Please visit www.accion.org to learn more about these options. Accion staff may be reached at 617-625-7080 x1109 or by email at donate@accion.org.