Funder Spotlight: Polk Bros. Foundation


Polk Bros. Foundation has been supporting Accion’s mission to help neighborhood entrepreneurs grow in Illinois and Indiana since 2008. With their generous funding, Polk Bros. Foundation enables Accion to help create wealth for small business owners and their families in the region’s most challenged neighborhoods.


Polk Bros. Foundation is a private independent foundation dedicated to building and strengthening Chicago’s families and communities, especially those most affected by poverty. The Foundation focuses its work at the intersection of Chicago’s most pressing issues to address the complex roots and devastating effects of poverty, challenge inequity, and ensure that all Chicagoans have the opportunity to reach their full potential.


“We’ve partnered with nearly 3,000 Chicago nonprofits over the years to build strong communities and strong families, increase access to quality education and the arts, improve health, and to strengthen their organizations and sectors,” said Deborah Bennett, senior program officer for Polk Bros. Foundation. “We are proud to count Accion among those partners because its work helps to create jobs and wealth by supporting small businesses, which are the lifeblood of communities of color.”


Since 1994, Accion has made over 5,000 loans, invested $40 million in our neighborhoods, and helped to create or maintain an estimated 15,000 jobs in communities in need of economic opportunity. This progress is only possible with the support of partners like Polk Bros. Foundation.


“Accion’s work to provide capital, coaching and connections to neighborhood entrepreneurs is greatly strengthened thanks to funding from Polk Bros. Foundation,” said Accion CEO Brad McConnell. “Because of this strong partnership, we are able to help small businesses thrive, creating jobs and investment in underserved communities.”


Polk Bros. Foundation’s most recent grant to Accion will support our Small Business Loan Program as well as our efforts as one of Chicago’s small business ecosystem builders, in partnership with a number of mission-driven organizations.


As Accion celebrates our 25th Anniversary, we thank Polk Bros. Foundation, who have been one of our strongest foundation partners. We look forward to continuing our work together by supporting entrepreneurs and building a strong small business community in Chicago and beyond.


Pictured above: Accion client and Pilsen business-owner, Alberto Tapia of Top Quality Delivery of Chicago