The Business of Entrepreneurial Financing

April 16th, 2009

Listen to the Full Episode | Download MP3

Accion| Download MP3

We met the Accion Chicago folks at a SBA entrepreneurs day and felt they were showing us some hidden truths about the availability of financial resources for entrepreneurs. The more we got to know them, we realized they are the gold standard for providing financial support in a humane way.

Accion Chicago is committed to bringing affordable microfinance solutions to small business owners who need them.Theya reach deeply into the communities they serve to help thousands of small business owners grow and thrive. They are experts in microfinance and in helping small business owners use it to build their businesses.

We visited their offices and talked with two of Accion Chicago’s leaders and one of their clients. Click on this link for more information on Accion Chicago

Jonathan Brereton CEO and Chief Lending Officer

Jonathan Brereton joined ACCION Chicago in November of 2000 as a Community Outreach Coordinator through the AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer program. With a degree in Business and Economics from Wheaton College, he was responsible for both fundraising and the establishment t of additional community partnerships. Following his year of service, Jonathan was named Director of Operations in November of 2001 and was responsible for the creation and maintenance of relationships with funders, as well as various operational matters. Jonathan was promoted in October of 2003 to Chief Operating Officer, and again in October of 2004 to Chief Executive and Lending Officer.

Jessica Horn Senior Loan Officer

Jessica Horn joined ACCION Chicago in June of 2007. She was promoted to Loan Officer in January of 2008 and Senior Loan Officer in August of 2008. She previously worked as a loan portfolio manager at Ithala Finance Development Corporation in Durban, South Africa while researching her master’s thesis on how low-income South Africans use savings accounts. Her responsibilities include analyzing small business owners’ financial and technical needs, guiding them through the loan process and developing relationships with community organizations and banks in order to promote ACCION Chicago’s microlending program.

Sharon Stetzer, Owner of Lady LIghting and Contracting Company

Sharon operates a successful minority owned electrical contracting company based in Naperville. She was faced with the loss of her bank line even though she was meeting her commitments with her bank. She turned to Accion Chicago to help her have the financing needed to take on new projects. You can contact Sharon at (630) 236-8011

Accion USA

We wanted to broaden our perspective about the availability of small business lending and give a national perspective. To do this, we spoke with Laura Kozien. Laura is the Director of Communications for Accion USA. Accion USA is an organization with a nationwide reach that has helped thousands of small business owners grow and thrive. They are a recognized leader in U.S. microfinance–and in helping small business owners use it to build their businesses.

ACCION USA is part of the U.S. ACCION Network, the largest domestic microlending network, with over $230 million lent since inception in 1991.

David Carlick | Download MP3

David is one of the pioneers of online marketing. He was a visionary marketing and advertising executive who moved from advising companies to being a co-founder of Doubleclick which was acquired by Google in 2007.

David joined one of the largest venture capital firms, Vantage Point Venture Partners, as a Managing Director.His innovative mind and operational experience were a key ingredient in the numerous investments he helped nurture from early stages to public offering or acquisition. When he retired from Vantage Point at the end of 2008, he was rated by an independent rating firm as one of the top 10 venture capitalist in the U.S.

These days, David keeps busy as an involved board member of numerous companies including Touch Tunes, Unbound Technologies and Grocery Shopping Net.

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