Writer: Art Ruiloba
New Mexico State University's Arrowhead Center added a new partner to the center's technology incubator. Accion is an award-winning, nonprofit organization that provides financial resources and training for self-employed entrepreneurs and small companies.
Garrey Carruthers, dean of the NMSU College of Business and vice president for economic development, said Accion is a proven and reputable organization that has spurred positive economic growth in the state for the past 18 years.
"Accion's residency at the center's incubator will give residents from Dona Ana County and regional communities an opportunity to receive assistance from a nationally recognized organization. They have assisted thousands of people and provided the necessary resources, such as financing, training, networking, leadership development and marketing opportunities, to become successful businesses owners," Carruthers said.
Lynn Trojahn, vice president of advancement for Accion, said the center's technology incubator is a critical link between researchers and entrepreneurs. She said the partnership with Arrowhead Center will allow Accion to continue building southern New Mexico's economy one small business at a time.
"The fuel that powers our small business development engine at Accion is our network of partners," Trojahn said. "We could not do what we do without local partners who ensure we deliver our lending and support services in the places they are most needed."
Accion was founded in Albuquerque in 1994 and has provided funding to more than 2,900 small businesses in 173 communities across New Mexico. The nonprofit organization expanded its services into Arizona and Colorado in 2008.
Overall, Accion has financed 3,677 start-up or emerging businesses and issued 5,791 loans totaling more than $39.6 million. The company accomplished this through partnerships with local banks and organizations.
Since 2010, Accion has loaned more than $151,000 to businesses in Dona Ana County.
Jordan van Rijn, New Mexico loan officer for Accion, said the county has the second largest population in the state and it was important for the company to have a regular presence in the Las Cruces area.
He said this area and the surrounding region has always been a hub for research, commerce and technology, and the company was committed to help county residents overcome obstacles and reach economic independence.
"From home-based entrepreneurs to regional manufacturers, Accion has helped more than 2,900 New Mexico businesses get their start or grow," van Rijn said. "These firms have helped to create or sustain an estimated 4,600 jobs, not only providing needed income for individuals and families but also helping New Mexicans build assets and create a brighter future for themselves and their communities."
Zetdi Runyan, program manager at the Arrowhead Technology Incubator, said Accion's services will be very beneficial to the success of entrepreneurs and businesses in the region.
"There are points where a little bit of funding, whether it be a bank loan, or bootstrapping, is critical to the success of a business. Having direct access (literally right across the hall) to the knowledge and experience Accion brings will be very helpful," Runyan said.
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