Accion Texas Inc. has joined forces with the Eva Longoria Foundation and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to help Hispanic women entrepreneurs by providing small-business loans through the Latina Loan Fund, the nonprofit microlender announced on Monday.
The "Accion Texas: Growing Small Business, Changing Lives" fundraising event on April 4 brought some 500 business, community and political leaders together in San Antonio to learn about the initiative, according to a news release.
People want "a hand up, not a handout," Accion Texas President and CEO Janie Barrera said in the release. "Our shared goal is not charity -- it is helping people to help themselves."
To get things going, Buffett kicked in $1 million to Longoria's foundation, with loans to be disbursed and managed by Accion Texas.
The fund began disbursements in the spring of 2013, and had made 58 microloans totaling $500,000 by the end of the year. The loans created or sustained 150 jobs in some of the most economically disadvantaged parts of Texas, according to the release.
The Latina Loan Fund expects to disburse the remaining $500,000 by the end of 2014, along with proceeds from the April 4 fundraiser.
Also announced at the event was a new partnership between Accion Texas and the Hispanic 100, a network of metro Dallas Hispanic women leaders who boost business development for Latina-owned businesses.
Pictured at the announcement are, from left, Howard G. Buffett, Angelique Gonzales (owner of The Frosty Frog, a gourmet shaved ice company in San Antonio, who received a loan from the partnership), Eva Longoria and Accion Texas President and CEO Janie Barrera. (Photo by Al Caballero.)
Established in 1994 in San Antonio and now operating in eight states, Accion Texas manages the nation's largest microloan portfolio, according to the release.
Source: Accion Texas
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