Accion Opportunity Fund
Accion Opportunity Fund works to create an inclusive, healthy financial system that supports the nation’s small business owners by connecting entrepreneurs to affordable capital, educational resources, coaching, and networks.
For over 25 years, Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF) has served a client base that is overwhelmingly women, people of color, or immigrants. Since its founding, Accion Opportunity Fund has invested over $500 million in determined entrepreneurs:
We serve hard-working entrepreneurs who have too-often been systemically shut out of the lending sphere. We’re committed to providing the financial and advising support they deserve.
— John Inglis-Arkell, Director, Capital Markets, Accion Opportunity Fund
One group of disadvantaged entrepreneurs are truck drivers, especially those who drive long distances working for a company. They have vital but incredibly tough and underpaid jobs, regularly logging cross-country miles, spending a night or two at home, then repeating the long travel cycle. In addition to these tough working conditions, drivers often experience challenges in purchasing their own trucks, facing strict requirements from banks to provide 20 to 40 percent down on a truck loan. That’s money drivers often don’t have.
Truck drivers are the un-sung heroes and the backbone of our economy but they are some of the lowest-paid workers in the United States if they drive a truck for another company. By becoming an owner operator purchasing their first truck, they can make more money, get better hauls and better pay since they can choose the routes to take which pay more money and have a better-quality family life. We offer the opportunity to finance their first truck with one year of driving experience which is unheard of in the industry. After 27 years in trucking and an OEM truck sales representative, I can say we truly help individuals. It is great to see our borrowers become successful and to continue to grow their business by purchasing more equipment and making more income
— Terri Ferro, Director, Equipment Finance, Accion Opportunity Fund
Accion Opportunity Fund’s Trucking Program provides loans to independent long-haul truckers to purchase a new or used truck, retrofit an existing truck with a reduced-emissions filter, or make needed repairs. Since 2010, Opportunity Fund—Accion Opportunity Fund’s lending arm—has invested more than $275 million through more than 5,000 long-haul trucking loans. The borrowers are 78% low-to-moderate income and 95% people of color.
A key to the trucking program’s success is establishing relationships with partners like Beneficial State Bank. Since 2013, Beneficial State Bank has partnered with Opportunity Fund to purchase loans from their trucking portfolio, thereby supporting thousands of drivers in improving their financial well-being as well as our state’s air quality. Channeling much-needed capital into the hands of these entrepreneurs has profoundly impacted our communities and environment for the better.
Read Opportunity Fund’s full report on the impact of its trucking program, here.
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