Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc.
ACE helps start and grow small businesses through capital, coaching and connections.
Twenty Years. $72 million in loans. 8,500 jobs.
In 1999, CEO Grace Fricks founded ACE’s lending program in response to the lack of available start-up capital for North Georgia Technical College graduates wanting to start businesses. Fricks and Kim Foster, former ACE board member, decided to create a loan fund to serve North Georgia with financial backing from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Presently, ACE serves 68 counties, including all of Metropolitan Atlanta and North Georgia.
Since 2000, ACE has made more than $72 million in loans and created or retained more than 8,500 jobs.
Facts about ACE’s customers in 2019:
48% have businesses in Metro Atlanta
87% are from underserved populations
37% of loan funds provided to women business owners
45% of loan funds provided to African American small business owners
15% of loan funds provided to Hispanic small business owners
Recently named as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Georgia Office as the Financial Services Champion of the Year, ACE is an SBA Microloan Intermediary, a USDA Intermediary Relender and a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Operation as a CDFI means creating jobs and opportunities for low income and under-served populations while executing sound financial and portfolio management. Certification requirements are stringent and include maintaining certain operating ratios and continued reporting to the US Department of Treasury. Sources of loan funds include SBA, USDA, U.S.