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Accion is a global nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives.
Accion’s vision is to build a financially inclusive world with access to economic opportunity for all.
Excellence.
Respect.
Passion for social change.
Letter from the President & Board Chair
We believe in a financially inclusive worldone in which every individual has access to a full range of high-quality, affordable financial services. With access and the right financial tools, people have a greater opportunity to capitalize on their abilities and achieve real economic gains, building brighter futures for themselves and their families.
Our work is guided by the lessons of our 50-year history, and a strategy based on three pillars: building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions (MFIs), pushing the frontiers of financial inclusion beyond MFIs, and helping to build a strong industry with high standards. Over the last year, we have made significant progress in all three areas.

First, we are working to extend microfinance to more underserved countries and regions of the world, launching Accion Microfinanças in Manaus, Brazil; strengthening our Indian partners; and working to build new alliances in China, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and beyond. And we’re increasing opportunity in the United States through the Accion U.S. Network, the largest microlending network in the country. Since its inception in 1991, it has extended more than $320 million in working-capital loans.

Second, we have launched Venture Lab, a $10 million new impact-investment initiative that provides seed-stage funding for small start-ups developing new products and business models that increase access to services for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. And through our Frontier Investments Group, we continue to invest in other groundbreaking financial services, such as mobile payments in Zambia; a technology services company in India staffed by the disabled; and life insurance for the most vulnerable, such as those living with HIV and AIDS.

Third, the Smart Campaignthe flagship consumer-protection initiative of Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusioncontinues to gather momentum across the globe, boasting more than 2,900 endorsers, of which 900 are MFIs who serve 40 million clients in over 130 countries. And, we have deepened collaboration with other industry leaders, including the Microfinance CEO Working Group, on a common agenda to address key industry challenges, with the goal of redoubling the industry’s commitment to consumer protection, pricing transparency and meaningful measurement of social impact.

We are proud of the work and achievements made over the last year, and of the value that Accion brings in its effort to provide opportunity to millions of hardworking people throughout the world.

We are no less proud of, and honored by, your continued support. Your generosity makes our work possible.

Sincerely,

Image of Signatures of Michael Schlein, President and Chief Executive Officer and Diana Taylor, Board Chair.  The sidebar of this section shows an image of Diana L. Taylor, with the quote, “Meeting hardworking families around the world refuels my passion for Accion’s mission and reinforces my belief that access to financial services does, indeed, help improve lives.
There is also an image of Michael Schlein, with the quote, “To realize our vision of a financially inclusive world takes hard work, commitment and a certain degree of audacity – these are traits we see in all of our clients every day.

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 brave and industrious people are working their way up the economic ladder, with dignity and pride.
Sandra Nieto, Client

SANDRA NIETO

Designer and client of Accion East, a member of the Accion U.S. Network, New York City.
Ya Rong Ma, Client

YAN RONG MA

Buddha shop owner and client of Accion partner Accion Microfinance China in Yuanbaoshan, China.
Erivan Dos Santos, Client

ERIVAN DOS SANTOS

Bicycle shop owner and client of Accion partner Microfinançasin Manaus, Brazil.
Arga Bourgeois, Client

ARGA BOURGEOIS

Raw food chef and client of Accion Texas, a member of the Accion U.S. Network, in Houston, Texas.
Anidebe Johnson, Client

ANIDEBE JOHNSON

Electronics salesman and client of Accion partner Accion Microfinance Bank in Lagos, Nigeria.
Bainabai Sagar, Client

BAINABAI SAGAR

Tea stand owner and client of Accion partner Mann Deshi Bank, with whom Accion is piloting its financial literacy and “Dialogue on Business” programs in Mhaswad, India.
Reinaldo Nino, Client

REINALDO NIÑO

Weaver and client of Accion partner Finamérica in Bogota, Colombia.
Pura Parada Hurtado, Client

PURA PARADA HURTADO

Dairy farmer and client of Accion partner BancoSol in La Reforma, Bolivia.
Betty and Luis Suxo Sirpa

BETTY AND LUIS SUXO SIRPA

Furniture makers and clients of Accion partner BancoSol in El Alto, Bolivia.
Jhang Yanan, Client

JHANG YANAN

Barbecue shop owner and client of Accion partner Accion Microfinance China in Chifeng, China.
Okator Nmaju Tasie Johnson, Client

OKATOR NMAJU TASIE JOHNSON

Tailor and client of Accion partner EB-ACCION Microfinance in Douala, Cameroon.
Falodun Riskat, Client

FALODUN RISKAT

Poultry vendor and client of Accion partner Accion Microfinance Bank in Lagos, Nigeria.
Strategies At Work
1. Building Top-Tier Microfinance Institutions.
This is an image of a child and a man seated on a bench in a lobby. Accompanying text reads: We are building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions. Using our fifty years of experience to help smaller microfinance institutions achieve greater scale, sustainability and efficiency; Helping microfinance institutions expand their products and services to address their clients’ full range of needs; Focusing on un- and under-served regions, such as India, China, Brazil, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Accion’s role in the industry is unique. We build sustainable, scalable MFIs that share our commitment to the double bottom linemaximizing both financial and social impactby providing those MFIs with management services, investment and governance. Like a venture capital firm, we combine investment of capital with managerial expertise. Our managers are typically seconded to partner MFIs and use their experience to help build sound, commercial models of microfinance that are scalable, profitable and carefully attuned to protecting client’s rights. Together, these services help catapult smaller, younger MFIs to the highest level of performance.

We have focused our attention on some of the poorest populations in some of the most challenging environments in the world. For example, in 2011 we inaugurated Accion Microfinanças in Manaus, Brazilthe heart of the Amazon, where half of the region’s 14 million inhabitants live in poverty. We are proud to say that the institution closed the year meeting operational goals and a client portfolio well above initial projections.

In China, we are helping to build a new microfinance industry. We have partnered with Sagamore Investments, which is making a RMB 140 million (US$21.9 million) investment in Accion Microfinance China. The funds will significantly strengthen our microlending operations in Inner Mongolia, where 40 percent of the population remains below the poverty line.

In India, Accion has recently made equity investments and extended guarantees for our Bihar- and Mumbai-based partners, Saija and Swadhaar, redoubling our commitment to financial access in a nation where the growth of microfinance remains beset by great challenges.

In Africa, we are strengthening EB-ACCION Microfinance in Cameroon, a country in which more than 65 percent of the actively employed population lacks access to any form of secure, financial services. Our partners in Tanzania, Nigeria and Cameroon today provide secure savings accounts to more than 250,000 low-income people. We also proudly recognize the achievements of Accion Microfinance Bank in Nigeria, recently voted ‘Microfinance Bank of the Year,’ and Ghana’s EB-Accion Savings and Loans, named African Banker’s ‘Microfinance Institution/Project of the Year 2011.’

And we are exploring new opportunities in the Philippines, Kenya, Mexico and other countries.

In the United States, we continue to strengthen our 20 years of work in small-business lending and financial education. The Accion U.S. Networkthe largest microlending network in the countryis already benefiting from the ‘Big StartUp,’ a nationwide jobs-creation initiative recently launched by the New York Stock Exchange, which has recognized Accion as a leader in the field.

We are proud of all these achievements, yet we still have much to do. Our research and development, supported by philanthropy, enables our work on client-appropriate products and services. Examples can be found in such countries as Colombia, Peru and Ecuador where, supported by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are developing savings products and outreach methods to make microfinance easier, more efficient and more economical.

Capacity building remains a hallmark of our work, and it continues on multiple fronts. Through our Global Training Centers in China, India and Ghana, which are supported primarily by Credit Suisse, Accion trains and mentors microfinance managers and staff.

And we continue to enable microentrepreneurs through our ‘Dialogue on Business’ skills training and financial literacy programs. Over the last year, we have delivered new training modules in multiple languages across Latin America and India on subjects from cash and credit management to marketing and sales practices. For example, in partnership with the Muthoot Pappachan Group, Accion has recently trained more than 25,000 microentrepreneurs in India’s southern states, with plans to train a total of 100,000 by 2014.

Ultimately, top-tier MFIs will provide better access to more high-quality financial services and products for more people in more places. And that is taking us one step closer to our vision.


This is a bulleted list of highlights, including: Inaugurated Accion Microfinancas in Brazil. Secured a twenty one point nine million dollar investment in Accion Microfinance China. Made equity investments in, and extended guarantees to our Indian partners in Bihar and Mumbai. Provided savings accounts to more than two hundred fifty thousand low-income people in Tanzania, Nigeria and Cameroon. Partnered with the NewYork Stock Exchange to launch The Big Start Up, a nationwide jobs-creation initiative. Continued to develop savings products and improved outreach in Latin America, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Gates Foundation. Provided training for microfinance managers and staff through our Global Training Centers in China, India and Ghana. Recognized Accion Microfinance Bank in Nigeria as ‘Microfinance Bank of the Year,’ and Ghana’s <ACRONYM> title=”EB”>EB</ACRONYM> EB-Accion Savings and Loans as African Banker’s ‘Microfinance Institution/Project of the Year 2011’. Trained thousands of microentrepreneurs through our ‘Dialogue on Business’ business skills training and financial literacy programs. In India alone, the program has educated more than twenty five thousand microentrepreneurs.
2. Pushing the Frontiers of Financial Inclusion Beyond MFIs.
This is an image of an Indian woman surrounded by plants. Accompanying text reads: We are pushing the frontiers of financial inclusion beyond microfinance institutions; Accelerating the development of new business models, technologies and channels, Providing seed funding and assistance for promising start-ups and adjacent technologies through new impact-investment initiatives.
Many of the most compelling financial services and methods being created to serve the entrepreneurial poor are being developed outside of traditional brick-and-mortar MFIs. To help serve those companies, Accion launched the Frontier Investments Groupa hands-on equity partner that invests in early-stage, post-revenue companies that have moved beyond the seed stage. Frontier Investments focuses on three sectors that promise new solutions for underserved markets: technology, such as off-the-shelf core banking systems that improve the reliability and scalability of traditionally paper-and people-intensive microfinance models; distribution, such as branchless banking payment systems that lower costs and expand outreach of financial services; and new products, such as microinsurance and other services that address demands beyond microcredit.

In recent months, Frontier has invested in Mobile Transactions International, a mobile payments business with a vision of transforming the way people and organizations transact business by reducing reliance on cash. Mobile Transactions operates in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Frontier has also invested in Vindhya e-lnfomedia, a business process outsourcing company in India whose customer base primarily consists of info-tech and microfinance companies, and whose employee base is largely comprised of people with disabilities. The organization has been recruiting, training and employing differently abled people since its launch in 2006. Currently, nearly 90 percent of its employees are physically disabled, and also lack access to economic and other opportunities.

Frontier was also the first institutional investor in Leapfrog Investments, one of whose portfolio companies, AllLife, provides life insurance to South Africans living with HIV and AIDS.

Our experience with Frontier has shown us that we can still do more to help build enterprises whose goal is to broaden financial inclusion. To that end, Accion recently launched Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative that provides seed funding and technical assistance to promising start-ups often considered by others to be ‘pre-investable.’

In addition to capital, Venture Lab provides a dedicated team ready to assist with early-stage tasks such as analytics, financial modeling, business development and reaching scale. The Lab’s assistance leverages Accion’s technical capacity, its global network of MFIs and its relationships in the microfinance and mainstream financial industries to help build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in which these small, young portfolio companies can thrive.
This is a bulleted list of highlights, including: Launched Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative that provides seed funding and technical assistance to promising start-ups often considered by others to be ‘pre-investable’. Invested in Mobile Transactions International, a mobile payments business in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique that is transforming the way people and organizations transact business by reducing reliance on cash, Invested in Vindhya e-lnfomedia, a business process outsourcing company in India whose customer base consists primarily of infotech and microfinance companies, and which is staffed by people with disabilities. Became board chair of Leapfrog Investments, one of whose portfolio companies, AllLife, provides life insurance to South Africans living with HIV and AIDS.
3. Committed to a Stronger, Better Industry.
This is an image of an African woman at a sewing machine, Accompanying text reads: We are helping to build a strong industry with high standards: Redoubling the industry’s commitment to consumer protection, transparency and social-performance measurement. Working with and strengthening Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion, the Smart Campaign, Accion Network, Microfinance Transparency, Social Performance Task Force, Microfinance <ACRONYM> title=”Chief Executive Officer”>CEO</ACRONYM Working Group, and more.
We are building an industry with high standards through numerous collaborative projects and programsnone as unique and widespread as the Smart Campaign.

The flagship effort of Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion, the Campaign’s goal is to protect microfinance clients through seven fundamental consumer-protection principles. The Campaign encourages microfinance institutions to commit to the principles, then trains and certifies the MFIs in the application of those principles.

Since its launch, the Smart Campaign has experienced remarkable uptake. Today, it boasts endorsements by more than 2,900 signatories, of which approximately 900 are institutions serving some 40 million clients in over 130 countries. The Campaign is helping to ensure quality delivery of services worldwide.

We are also working on many other opportunities that we believe can significantly help improve the industry.

In 2011, a group of CEOs from global microfinance organizationsFINCA, Freedom from Hunger, Grameen Foundation, Opportunity, Pro Mujer, VisionFund, Women’s World Banking and ourselvesformed the Microfinance CEO Working Group. The published result of our initial discussionsthe “Road Map for the Microfinance Industry: Focusing on Responsible and Client-Centered Microfinance”outlines our collective vision for ensuring the continued success of the microfinance industry for years to come.

Central to this vision is the Working Group’s support for three key initiatives: the Smart Campaign, Microfinance Transparency and the Social Performance Task Force’s universal standards for social performance management.

Microfinance Transparency promotes the importance of pricing transparency and provides a forum for MFIs to clearly transmit pricing information to all interested stakeholders. Over time, widespread transparency will put pressure on all players to compete and reduce rates.

The Social Performance Task Force builds upon the foundation of client protection and transparency, and recently released its “Universal Standards for Social Performance Management.” These standards mark a noteworthy achievement in industry consensus on how we pursue our social missions and, ultimately, how we determine social impact.

If the microfinance industry can come together and, with one voice, support and advance these fundamental practices, it will have taken key steps to expanding essential financial services to the 2.5 billion people who remain without access to these services, and whose lives could be made so much better with that access.

This is a bulleted list of highlights, including: Championed microfinance client-protection principles around the world by expanding the Smart Campaign’s reach to more than nine hundred institutions serving some forty million clients in over one hundred thirty countries; Co-founded the Microfinance <ACRONYM> title=”Chief Executive Officer”>CEO</ACRONYM Working Group to outline a vision for a stronger industry with higher standards, through support for three key initiatives: the Smart Campaign, Microfinance Transparency and the Social Performance Task Force.
Financials
This is an infographic of Accion’s Financials. There is an image of a globe in the upper left corner, and a number of images of Accion clients throughout. Over the years Accion has helped build sixty two microfinance institutions in thirty one countries on four continents. Those institutions are currently reaching millions of clients. There were five point one million active borrowers in twenty eleven, impacting the lives of twenty five point five million family members and employees. Our active loan portfolio was five point five billion dollars in twenty eleven. Twenty eight partners help Accion extend services in twenty one countries on four continents. We had two point one million active savers in twenty eleven, with two point seven billion dollars in savings deposits. The Accion U.S. Network has made forty three thousand loans, totaling three hundred twenty million dollars, since its inception in nineteen ninety one. Thirteen point two million people were served in the last ten years with fifty five point seven million microloans, totaling forty six billion dollars lent. Accion has a ninety seven percent loan repayment rate, worldwide. All monetary statistics in U.S. dollars.
Accion’s twenty eleven financial highlights are detailed on two pie charts. 
The first chart shows total revenue of twenty one million eight hundred fifty six thousand seven hundred forty four dollars, divided as follows: forty three percent contributions and grants for a total of nine million three hundred forty eight thousand one hundred twenty nine dollars, twenty three percent dividend and interest income from program investments for a total of five million eighty five thousand one hundred forty eight dollars, eighteen percent dividend and interest income from short term investments for a total of three million eight hundred fifty one thousand six hundred twenty dollars, five percent management fees for a total of one million one hundred eighty four thousand two hundred thirty nine dollars, and eleven percent contract revenues and training fees for a total of two million three hundred eighty seven thousand six hundred eight dollars.
The second chart shows total functional expenses of thirty eight million thirty nine thousand two hundred ninety one dollars, divided as follows: fifty one percent global programs and microfinance institutions for a total of nineteen million three hundred seventy five thousand six hundred thirty dollars, twelve percent global investments for a total of four million six hundred sixty three thousand six hundred four dollars, eight percent Center for Financial Inclusion for a total of three million one hundred seven thousand six hundred twenty dollars, five percent communications for a total of two million thirty thousand fifty seven dollars, fifteen percent general and administrative for a total of five million five hundred thirty one thousand eight hundred ninety three dollars, and nine percent fundraising for a total of three million three hundred thirty thousand four hundred eighty seven dollars.
More Financial Information and links to PDF Documents of Financial Statements and Partner Results
Videos
Each day, Accion is extending access to financial services to millions of hardworking men and women across the globe, empowering them with hope for their futures. We invite you to learn about how Accion is building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions that share our vision of building a financially inclusive world with access to economic opportunity for all.
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THE CHALLENGE OF FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Accion is working to build a financially inclusive world. Find out more about our strategy.
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BUSINESS TRAINING FOR MICROENTREPRENEURS

This report comes from Kerala, India, where Accion is educating clients in basic business skills through its ‘Dialogue on Business’ program.
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FIRST FIFTY YEARS

Dive into Accion’s rich history and learn about our work over the years.
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A DAY IN THE LIFE

From California to Cameroon, Accion’s clients work hard every day to grow their businesses and provide for their families.
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THIS IS WHAT WE DO

Travel around the world and learn about how Accion makes lasting change.
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ACCION’S GLOBAL BRAND

Accion introduces a refreshed global identity to advance its goal of a “financially inclusive world with economic opportunity for all.”
Your Support is Powerful
Your support provides the funding that allows us to reach people in unserved and underserved regions around the globe.

Your contributions fund the research and development of product and process innovations that help bring needed financial tools to millions of hardworking individuals.

Your charitable gifts provide financial education and business training to clients, so they can improve their businesses and lives.

Ultimately, your support means that millions of people around the world can be empowered to improve the lives of family members, employees and neighbors in critical wayswith better nutrition, regular schooling or simply a roof that doesn’t leak.

For all this, we thank you, and we ask you to continue to help us to build a financially inclusive world with access to economic opportunity for all.

There are Many Ways to Give.
This image shows an African father and son. The caption reads as follows: Your support not only benefits one individual, but generations to come.

Outright Gifts: You can make an outright gift using our website at www.accion.org/donate.

Sustainer’s Society: Join the Sustainer’s Society and demonstrate your commitment to bringing financial empowerment to millions of people by making automatic monthly contributions to Accion. Visit www.accion.org/sustainers to learn more.

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 Global Bridge Fund allows individual investors to help secure the financial sustainability of microfinance institutions (MFIs) 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.

DESIGN: NEO DESIGN GROUP, NYC
PHOTOGRAPHY: ALL IMAGES BY JOHN RAE, EXCEPT FOR CLIENT SANDRA NIETO (DAMON JACOBY)