On April 20, American Express and OFN member Accion Opportunity Fund announced a new program to provide loans and other resources to underfunded small business owners in the U.S. The program will help accelerate small business growth, with the goal of building a more equitable financial system. As part of this program, American Express will provide $40 million to Accion Opportunity Fund, the largest investment the nonprofit has received since its founding, helping to enable an expanded loan program.
Over the next five years, Accion Opportunity Fund estimates this $40 million will help yield more than $125 million in loans for small businesses, help create or retain more than 10,000 jobs, and create a ripple effect of economic activity as funds flow through local communities and are repaid.
“Investing responsibly in the nation’s small businesses is essential to building a more equitable society. This program combines access to capital and expert advising to support small businesses that are in a strong position to rebuild and grow in 2021 and beyond. We’re looking to lift up those who have been overlooked and underfunded for far too long,” said Luz Urrutia, CEO, Accion Opportunity Fund. “Together with American Express we’re working to accelerate progress towards an inclusive financial system.”
“Our partnership with Accion Opportunity Fund expands on our progress toward providing financial support and education to at least 250,000 Black-owned small and mid-sized businesses by the end of 2024,” said Jessica Ling, Vice President, Global B2B Marketing Strategy, Engagement & Enablement at American Express. “We are excited to partner with Accion Opportunity Fund to advance our shared, longstanding commitment to support underfunded communities, enhance financial inclusion and reach as many small businesses as possible that need access to capital.”
Read the full press release.