Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. Recognized at Clinton Global Initiative America Meeting for Its Successful Commitment to Action
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. (ACE) was recently recognized for its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to help female entrepreneurs at the 2016 CGI America meeting held June 12-14, 2016, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. ACE, a Georgia-based nonprofit community lender, made a “Commitment to Action” (commitment) with CGI in 2013 to help address the critical challenges facing women entrepreneurs in metro Atlanta and north Georgia.
Because of the commitment’s success in offering loans and training support through individualized business consultation, mentoring and educational opportunities, ACE’s President and CEO, Grace Fricks, MBA, presented its success to nearly 1,000 attendees with the hope that her story would inspire others in the room to take action. Fricks presentation was given on Monday, June 13, during the Opening Plenary Session, “America in the World: Staying Ahead,” and can be viewed here.
When it was launched in October 2013, the commitment’s primary goal was to create a $2.5 million revolving loan fund specifically for women entrepreneurs and offer advisory and other services to 225 women entrepreneurs. By December 2015 ACE had well exceeded its goal, making loans totaling more than $5.5 million to 72 women entrepreneurs. As a result, more than 450 jobs were created or retained. Forty-seven percent of borrowers had low to moderate income and 36 percent were women of color. Additionally, more than 235 women participated in business advisory events held in that time period.
The loan program developed as part of the initiative was promoted to the marketplace as Women Investing in Successful Entrepreneurs (WISE). “This was the first time we created a program tailored specifically for women entrepreneurs and their distinct needs,” said Fricks. “We couldn’t have accomplished our goals without the strong support of our community partners, volunteers, lending partners and, of course, our female entrepreneurial clients. We are most grateful for the results we have achieved together and the commitment we decided to make to the Clinton Global Initiative.”
The commitment’s success has been due, in large part, to the partnerships created. Initial investments by Invest Atlanta, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and the Calvert Foundation led to the successful launch of the program. Programming partnerships with the City of Atlanta’s Women Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), Atlanta Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Professional Women’s Information Network (Pro-WIN), Atlanta Business League, YoSoyM, Small Business Development Center, local bank partners, Small Business Administration and others all contributed to the success of the initiative. These partnerships remain intact today.
About Clinton Global Initiative America
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America brings together leaders from the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors to develop solutions that encourage economic growth, support long- term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. CGI America’s annual convening is designed to be a working meeting that promotes collaboration. Each CGI America participant makes a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan that supports increased economic growth and opportunity. To date, CGI America participants have made more than 500 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 2.4 million people.
About Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. (ACE)
ACE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides loans and business consulting services to help borrowers throughout metro Atlanta and North Georgia create and grow stable, sustainable businesses that generate jobs. ACE specializes in working with underserved populations, particularly women, minorities and low-income business owners, to help drive economic mobility and build stronger communities. Founded in 1999, ACE has loaned more than $34.8 million to entrepreneurs, which has created or saved more than 5,200 jobs in Georgia. As a nonprofit, ACE relies on operating and program grants and private contributions to support 40 percent of its budget. ACE has offices in downtown Atlanta and Cleveland, Ga., and an ACE Women’s Business Center in Norcross, Ga. For more information, visit www.aceloans.org.