Nonprofit lender Accessity was awarded a three-year grant totaling $500,000 from the Eva Longoria Foundation to grow its entrepreneurial programs and outreach for Latinas.
“With this grant, we will reach even more Latinas in Southern California with education, funding, and resources through the Eva Longoria Foundation,” said Accessity CEO Elizabeth Schott. “Latina entrepreneurs are starting small businesses at one of the fastest rates in the U.S., and we are excited to continue the momentum of this long-term relationship and support and empower these women.”
The partnership began in 2013 with a $55,000 loan fund, which was initially used to support six Latinas in starting or growing their businesses. The loan fund has grown over the years to $235,000 and will increase to $415,000 by the end of the three-year grant. Since its inception, the fund has resulted in 65 loans totaling nearly $525,000. In addition, the fund has supported creating and maintaining 150 jobs.
This grant continues the established partnership with Accessity to support its Spanish-language training events, marketing, and communications outreach to spread the word about the organization’s Spanish-language Academia de Accessity para el Éxito Empresarial (Accessity Academy for Business Success) program among Latina small business owners in the region and provide needed startup or growth capital through microloans. It also includes a yearly in-person, Spanish-language training event to connect Latinas with a peer group and continued instruction for growing businesses. Previous events attracted more than 130 attendees through three educational webinars.
Through the Academia de Accessity, Latina entrepreneurs are empowered to launch or formalize their small businesses through the program presented each fall. Presented entirely in Spanish, the course provides a friendly, accessible environment where approximately 25 Latinas learn together and build their support network to prepare them for business success. Launched in the fall of 2020, the class has graduated nearly 70 entrepreneurs.
One Academia graduate in San Diego, Calif., used the skills gained in the class to launch her business after graduation, Cinthya Salas of Fiu-Fiu Flautas & Snacks.
“I’m grateful to the Eva Longoria Foundation and Accessity because I have made so much progress in my business since I did not know anything about starting a business,” stated Salas. “Now I have seven food carts, employ six part-time workers, and my business has become my main source of income. It warms my heart to know that programs like this exist to support the Latina community and to see all the Latinas supporting each other.”
For more information about Cinthya’s business, visit her Facebook page.
To coordinate English or Spanish interviews, please contact Suzanne Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.795.7250 ext. 427.
For more information about the Academia de Accessity and to sign up for the interest list for the fall 2023 class, visit https://academiadeaccessity.org/.
Accessity, formerly Accion San Diego, is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution organization that provides economic opportunity to entrepreneurs through access to small business loans from $300 to $100,000 and a community of support and resources in Southern California. Accessity’s mission is to open doors of financial opportunity to those with historically less access to capital and business support: entrepreneurs of color, women, immigrants, and low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs, so they can build prosperous businesses and livelihoods for themselves and their families, while also strengthening communities. Since 1994, the organization has provided more than $70 million in loans to small business owners, assisting them in starting, expanding, building self-sufficiency, and supporting local employment and the economy. For more information, visit accessity.org.
About the Eva Longoria Foundation
Recognizing that Latinas are a rapidly growing group that lives disproportionately in poverty, the Eva Longoria Foundation’s mission is to help Latinas build better futures for themselves and their families through education and entrepreneurship. Areas of programmatic focus currently include parent engagement, mentorship, STEM education, scholarships, microloans and business training for Latinas. Visit the Eva Longoria Foundation online at www.EvaLongoriaFoundation.org. (@EvaLongoriaFoundation)