A loan of $6,400 helped repairs to his taxi.

Ramon's story

When Ramon was laid off from his job in 2005, he decided to become a taxi driver in order to earn enough income to support his family. He has successfully made a steady income since then, but he says one of the main challenges of being a taxi driver is keeping his vehicle in good shape. Since he drives it all day, it is constantly breaking down. Now, he is going to use his loan from ACCION USA to pay for repairs to his car. He is a return client, but has also used credit cards to pay for repairs in the past. With credit cards, he tries to pay his full balance at the end of the month because of the high interest charges.

Ramon does not want to be a taxi driver forever - he has big dreams to open his own business one day, in an entirely different industry - a restaurant! He hopes that when he decides to do this and has saved enough money, he will be able to get help from ACCION USA to start up the business.

More about ACCION USA and the underbanked in the United States

Have you ever thought about how the cute new café on your corner or the salon you frequent on a monthly basis got the financial resources to start their business? Chances are, they drummed up support from their friends and family, dipped into their personal savings, used a high-interest credit card, or all of the above. An estimated 10 million small businesses in the U.S. face difficulty obtaining loans from traditional banks, even prior to the current “credit crisis.” Microfinance institutions like ACCION USA, support these “unbanked” small businesses by giving them access to fairly-priced capital and business education.

Small businesses also help stabilize low-income neighborhoods and rebuild the U.S. economy through income growth and job creation. Self-employment provides low to moderate income workers with a way to increase their incomes, support their families, and strengthen their communities. As unemployment rises in the U.S., more and more people are turning to self-employment and start-up enterprises as a way to take control of their economic futures and provide employment opportunities in their communities. The need for support of small businesses in the U.S. is great, and it is one that ACCION USA has been striving to meet since 1991.

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