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US
November 24
LEADING THROUGH FACILITATION premium

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Earlier this month, U.S. Network staffers Laura and Gaby attended the “Leading through Facilitation: Growing Your Skills and Confidence” workshop through Be Social Change. In this workshop, participants learned the role a facilitator should play and the steps in planning a successful facilitation with the stakeholder’s objectives in mind.

Be Social Change is the largest social impact community in New York City that drives the work of social entrepreneurs in all industries through professional development, panel discussions, networking events and more. Earlier this year, they launched the Be Social Change Nonprofit Network with programming targeted specifically to help nonprofit organizations. The U.S. Network is proud to be a member.…

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October 28
A SWEET WAY TO SAY THANK YOU premium

HollingsworthAutumn is a great season to reflect on gratitude. Saying thank you is a kind gesture but sending a treat to a special person is a great way to show your appreciation. Hollingsworth Candies, based in Lockport, IL, has been producing toffee from a family recipe since 1982. Today, in addition to the 15,000 pounds of toffee they produce each year, they have expanded their product offering to include nut brittle, chocolate dipped strawberries, sea salt caramels and more. Their confections can be ordered online and shipped nationally so go ahead and surprise someone (or treat yourself).…

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October 20
GINA HARMAN DISCUSSES SMALL BUSINESS BORROWERS’ RIGHTS ON RADIO INTERVIEW premium

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CEO Gina Harman gives a radio interview from the Accion U.S. Network’s New York office
Gina Harman, CEO of Accion, the U.S. Network, was interviewed yesterday on Experience Pros, a Colorado-based business talk radio show. They discussed tips for small business owners when looking for a loan, and directed small business owners to familiarize themselves with the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. …

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US
October 14
BLACKSTONE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION EVENT TO ANNOUNCE GIFT FOR STUDENT ENTREPRENEURSHIP premium

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We are looking forward to learning about a new partnership between one of our partners, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and five universities in New York to foster student entrepreneurship in the state. Details about the partnership, which involves Cornell University, New York University (NYU), Syracuse University, University at Albany and University at Buffalo, will be announced at an event on Friday, October 23 at the NYC Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from 8:30-11 a.m. Click here to learn more! 

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US
October 2
ACCION RESPONDS TO U.S. DEPT OF TREASURY RFI ON ONLINE LENDING premium

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This week, the Accion U.S. Network submitted a comment paper to the U.S. Department of Treasury in response to their Request for Information on “Expanding Access to Credit through Online Marketplace Lending.”  The response focused on the impact of online and marketplace lending on small businesses in the U.S. Increased access to credit for small business owners is good and necessary for small business to continue to thrive and be the backbone of the American economy.  However, a lack of transparency around interest rates and fees, and little regulation in the industry have created a dangerous environment for many small business owners, who have become trapped in a cycle of debt.…

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US
July 16
Want to Support the Network on AmazonSmile? premium

We all know you can buy almost anything on Amazon but did you know you can support the Accion U.S. Network while you shop? We are excited that the Accion US Network is now part of AmazonSmile. This charitable program allows you to support the Network when you shop on Amazon. 0.5% of the purchase price will be donated to the Network when you make us your charity of choice.

You can set this up in a few simple steps. From the AmazonSmile website, click on “Change Your Charity” and then select “Accion the US Network.” Remember to shop from smile.amazon.com where you find the same product selection and help the U.S. Network at the same time.

You can find out more information about Amazon Smile here.

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July 15
MICHAEL HORMOZI, MAK CLEANERS premium

Michael Hormozi

Michael Hormozi, owner of MAK Cleaners in San Diego

Michael Hormozi began working in the dry cleaning industry by paying his way through college working at a local dry cleaning company. Throughout those years, he learned about the industry while helping with the accounting and deliveries for the company. In 2006, Michael joined MAK Cleaners, a local San Diego dry cleaning company located in the East Village, a downtown urban neighborhood that is in the process of being redeveloped. During this time, Michael managed the finances and maintained and improved the day-to-day operations of the company. In 2008, when the economy crashed, the local dry cleaning company struggled to stay afloat. While sales dropped by more than half, Michael was able to keep the locations open and running. Michael’s ultimate goal, however, was to save money to start his own dry cleaning company and to learn as much as he …

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US
July 15
STACY WATNICK, STACY W. BUHBE PH.D PSYCHOLOGIST premium

“I believe in what I do because I’ve seen it change peoples’ lives.”- Stacy Watnick

Stacy Watnick started her career as a psychologist at The Center, the nation’s second oldest and one of the largest LGBTQ community centers. In 2003, Stacy started her own practice in order to have a more flexible schedule as a working mother of two small children. Since then, she has been successful and has developed a niche in providing services to the LGBTQ community in San Diego. She has promoted her business through the local community, and remains dedicated to providing an essential service to improve the overall health of the LGBTQ community.

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Now that Stacy’s children are older, she is ready to bring her business to a new level. While Stacy was looking for capital to support her business expansion, she was also looking to receive technical assistance and business training.

Thanks to the …

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July 15
NICOLE VASQUEZ, OWNER OF THE SHIFT, A LOCAL COWORKING AND COMMUNITY SPACE premium

Nicole Vasquez

“Chicago is a very neighborhood based community, yet all the coworking spaces I found were downtown, removed from the neighborhoods.” – Nicole Vasquez

Nicole Vasquez knows the challenges of working outside the traditional office setting– whether it’s trying to find a suitable space in your home or fighting for a table at a coffee shop. With the rise in coworking spaces, Nicole saw an incredible opportunity to create a flexible and welcoming atmosphere for coworking and community education. Nicole understands the connection Chicagoans feel to their respective neighborhoods, however, most coworking spaces are located in the downtown area, far removed from the communities in which workers reside. Nicole saw this as an opportunity to create a space in her own neighborhood of Uptown.

Nicole was confident that her community would benefit from The Shift, but struggled to find the capital to make it happen. In 2014, Nicole reached out to …

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US
July 15
NICK ROMERO, OWNER OF RAWKNYKZ BARBER SHOP IN SAN DIEGO, CA premium

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“The barbershop is the neighborhood community center.” – Nick Romero

Nick Romero started cutting hair in his hometown of Miami when he was 14. “Where I come from, the barber shop is the neighborhood community center,” Nick said. Ever since, Nick’s dream has been to open up his own barbershop. When Nick joined the military in 2009, he spent his free time cutting hair in the barracks, at school and even while deployed in Kuwait and Iraq.

Upon his return to San Diego, Nick continued cutting hair out of his garage and established many local connections at nearby military bases. He would host what he called “Barber Sundays,” where he would cut his friends’ hair in his garage. Not long after, Nick gained more popularity and found himself cutting hair from morning to night. As he built up a steady and loyal clientele base, Nick decided it was time to …

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