Grace Fricks, founder and CEO of Appalachian Community Enterprises (ACE) and Georgia Green Loans, presented information about Georgia small business lending activity at the first annual Microfinance USA conference held in San Francisco, CA on May 20-21, 2010.  “Microfinance organizations like ACE are key in providing loans to small businesses,” Fricks said.  “Small businesses create most new jobs and can contribute significantly to the economic recovery.” ACE’s Georgia Green Loans program, which provides funds to companies offering a green product or service or ‘greening” their business practices, is viewed as a national model, and was the focus of Fricks’ presentation.  Fricks joined keynote Maria Shriver, California First Lady, and investors, policymakers, practitioners and small businesses at the two day summit.

Left to right, Joyce Klein, Aspen Institute: Grace Fricks, ACE; Gina Harmon, ACCION USA; Dr. Lauren Speeth, The Elfenworks Foundation.