The New Lending And Learning Center
Our $5.5 million capital campaign will enable us to build a new campus on West Martin Street in San Antonio. It will consolidate all of our operations and services within one location. Relocating at one self-contained campus will allow us to better serve San Antonio, the state of Texas and some of the most economically challenged areas of the country.
A one-stop center offering small businesses the full array of services they need to succeed, ranging from actual lending to workshops and classes offering technical assistance and business training.
Business incubators for Accion clients.
In addition, we envision an even bigger role for the Lending and Learning Center: a microlending think tank. We already have the nation’s largest microloan portfolio, we created the proprietary microloan underwriting platform that is now the industry standard, and our overall leadership in the microlending industry is recognized and celebrated throughout the country.
We plan to build on these accomplishments by attracting the very best minds in the industry to further advance the mission of microlending in the United States.
Main Building: Accion’s headquarters will house the lending and business support staff, as well as executive and administrative staff. As with all other buildings on the campus, our headquarters will be clean and green, using water-catchment cisterns, drought resistant plants and other energy-efficient systems inside and out to achieve a LEED Bronze Certification. The architectural design reflects the West Side’s characteristics of scale, building materials and color and presents a feeling of positive energy. We believe the design symbolizes the spirit of urban revitalization that is currently happening throughout San Antonio.
Community Center: A freestanding building specifically for workshops and training will be available for use by community groups, as well as for additional training on financial literacy and use of credit for interested persons whether they are Accion borrowers or not. This center will accommodate up to 100 people.
Edible Classroom: This garden site will be a learning experience for the nearby schoolchildren on growing their own food. The children can learn to become entrepreneurs by selling the produce onsite.
- Cafe: An onsite cafe will be operated by an experienced restaurateur, and open to the public. This cafe also will serve as a training kitchen for aspiring entrepreneurs. It will use fresh produce grown in the adjacent Edible Classroom.
- Business Incubator: A major component of our new Lending and Learning Center will be a new business incubator, providing space for a variety of small business concepts and start-ups to develop. We are also exploring the creation of pilot programs and partnerships with nontraditional organizations, such as homeless shelters and other groups that have an interest in the transformational power of entrepreneurship. Our goal is to make our incubator a model for other microlenders throughout the United States.
- Southside Business Incubator: Complementing the Lending and Learning Center’s small business incubator will be an additional Southside incubator located on the site of our current headquarters at 2014 S. Hackberry Street. Already generously funded with a $500,000 gift from Chase Bank, the Southside incubator is geared to more traditional small business owners, who need a location for their operations just until they grow enough to open their own shops.
Together, the two business incubators will help create new businesses and new jobs, making them essential tools in the economic development of San Antonio and providing other cities across the country with a successful example of how to start, sustain and grow small businesses that benefit individuals and the community at large.
Support our Campaign
If you wish to make an online donation to support the Capital Campaign, please visit the Donate Now page and select Capital Campaign as the Fund, or fill out our gift/pledge form and email or mail it back to Accion.