Grace Fricks, Founder and CEO of ACE | Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. received the Founder award at the 2022 Gwinnett Chamber Small Business Awards, an annual program designed to recognize entrepreneurs and small businesses in the greater Gwinnett region. The program was held at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville on Friday, December 9th.

From humble beginnings in rural North Georgia and an initial grant of $50,000, ACE | Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs has helped North Georgia and metro Atlanta’s entrepreneurs survive and thrive for more than twenty years. This commitment to providing affordable loans to underserved small and medium businesses has positioned ACE as one of the largest nonprofits in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of Atlanta’s 75 Largest Nonprofit Organizations.

Fricks believes that collaboration is the key to creating change. When starting ACE in 1997 in rural North Georgia, she was a social worker who saw a need and decided she could help meet it, but she knew she would have to garner support from the local community. Her personal banker helped her set up an Excel spreadsheet and made coupon books. A local entrepreneur helped with public relations and the technical college organized the loan committee. It was a true collaborative effort, with Fricks as the connector. This ability to pull the players together as a community change maker is one of her superpowers.

Read full press release HERE.

Watch awardee video here.

Back to ACE News