Liftfund, a nationally respected nonprofit small business lender with the country’s largest microloan portfolio, today announced a $5.5 million “We Believe” capital campaign to build a new campus on San Antonio’s West Side.“This is a watershed moment in our history”
The new Accion Texas Lending and Learning Entrepreneurial Center – to be located on two acres at 2015 W. Martin St. in the historic Prospect Hill area — will consolidate the organization’s San Antonio operations under one roof, creating a “one-stop” location for small business lending, education, training and support. It also will feature a community center and two small business incubators designed to help entrepreneurs start, sustain and grow new enterprises throughout San Antonio and South Texas.
“This is a watershed moment in our history,” said Accion President and CEO Janie Barrera. “While we are already the leading microlender in the United States, we are now poised to take a giant leap forward locally and regionally. The new center will enable us to further our role as a one-stop solution for small business development in San Antonio and throughout our eight-state footprint.”
According to Barrera, the capital campaign is already 45 percent funded through public and private contributions and pledges, including a $1.3 million grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Joining Barrera at the public announcement – which included more than 100 business and civic leaders – were San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett and Tom C. Frost Jr., chairman emeritus of Frost Bank, who helped create Accion Texas nearly 20 years ago.
Designed by Lake|Flato Architects, the five-building campus will include a 14,000-square-foot headquarters building; a 1,500-square-foot conference and training center; a 1,200-square-foot café and training kitchen for aspiring culinary entrepreneurs; and a pair of 2,000-square-foot small business incubator buildings.
Founded in 1994, Accion Texas has grown from one small office in San Antonio to 17 offices in Texas and seven other states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
The nonprofit’s mission is to provide credit and services to small businesses that do not have access to traditional sources of capital. Since its founding, it has made more than 12,400 micro- and small business loans totaling $125 million.