Community Lender

About Accion:

Accion ( is a nationwide nonprofit community lender dedicated to helping entrepreneurs generate income, build assets, create jobs and achieve financial success through business ownership. Our network serves small businesses in communities across the U.S. and is made up of four certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and a U.S. Network office. Globally, for more than 50 years Accion has helped over 90 partners serve the financial needs of tens of millions of people in 40 countries.


Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana is looking for a Community Lender to join our team in Chicago, IL.

Job Description:

The Community Lender is a salaried, exempt position that reports to a Manger of Community Lending for a specific geography. A Community Lender is responsible for supporting the annual goals of the organization for funding entrepreneurs prudently by articulating Accion’s products and services to clients and partners, generating client leads, guiding entrepreneurs through the loan process, and advocating for clients both internally and externally. Community lenders are expected to make loans, maintain portfolio quality, connect underserved entrepreneurs to resources that support their success, and provide outstanding customer service to past, current, and prospective clients. Each Community Lender works within an identified geographical region to ensure that Accion is serving each neighborhood’s distinct needs.

Essential Duties:

Measurable Goals
  • Fund at least the budgeted number of loans per month
  • Charge off less than the budgeted proportion of dollars lent each year
  • Contribute to a net surplus each year
Primary Responsibilities
  • Help entrepreneurs grow by providing the capital, coaching, and connections they need before, during, and after we fund a loan
  • Nurture trusted relationships with:
    • entrepreneurs to whom we provide funding and coaching
    • community leaders who help identify entrepreneurs who are ready to grow
    • referral partners who provide us with leads to entrepreneurs that we can serve
    • service providers with whom we can partner to provide entrepreneurs with additional assistance
  • Deliver clear messages for who we serve, the value we provide, and how we deliver that value effectively
  • Identify improvements in how we can better serve entrepreneurs and then continually implement those ideas effectively, including better offerings and more efficient internal operations
  • Measure the value we provide entrepreneurs effectively by carefully capturing key data
  • Promote the organization’s work at events and site visits that focus on community building, visibility, or entrepreneur service
  • Perform other duties flexibly and creatively as needs arise
Additional Responsibilities
  • Learn how we can best serve prospective borrowers by listening carefully to their needs within one business day of initial contact with Accion, analyzing business data provided by the small business owner, and recommending a reasonable amount to lend
  • Understand internal risk and operational policies and procedures in order to provide entrepreneurs with efficient service
  • Resolve customer issues resulting from tensions between client expectations and organizational risk policies
  • Meet individual lending goals each month
  • Meet with clients at the loan closing in our offices or at their business, ensure that all paperwork is accurate, and communicate all terms clearly to the client.
  • Build long-term relationships with clients within the designated geography post-loan by offering refinancings and assisting with timely repayment
  • Maintain community awareness of Accion’s role by regularly contacting our referral network that generates a steady pipeline of lending leads
  • Provide coaching to clients and refer clients to the Director of Coaching and Connections
  • Capture loan and coaching data accurately
  • Identify market trends by listening to clients and partners to learn how Accion can respond with improved products and services
  • Share client stories and data with the Development and Communications teams to support fundraising and messaging


Accion requires its staff to:

  • Solve problems creatively
  • Manage time efficiently
  • Attend to details meticulously
  • Communicate effectively in writing and verbally
  • Collaborate flexibly with colleagues in a diverse and changing environment
  • Believe strongly in Accion’s mission


The Community Lender should have experience in:

  • Community development
  • Client service

How to Apply:

Email with a resume and cover letter.