Deer Valley business owner Jane Spicer has been nominated to take part in a national accelerator program run by the global nonprofit Accion, which provides financing and support to small business owners. Spicer, who is the CEO of Daphne’s Headcovers, is one of two Phoenix area business owners selected to take part in the program.
“Accion’s Fast Track program is a dream come true for me as a life-long entrepreneur,” says Spicer. “Being able to add the education piece to my business and have a bank that understands the importance of nurturing their investment is ingenious.”
Fast Track aims to help business owners by having them take part in training and coaching programs. The curriculum includes classes on everything from marketing to strategy. The program kicked off in June and runs through February of next year.
Spicer is a veteran business owner but still felt the program was valuable saying, “Although I’ve been in business for many years the Fast Track program is helping me hone my skills and truly focus on working on my business rather than in it.”
Spicer goes on to say, “I am learning leaps and bounds in a practical, useful manner that I am taking directly to my businesses on a daily basis.”
Roberto Valdez-Beltran, Accion market manager, nominated Spicer for the program because he says her story is a great learning tool for other business owners.
“Jane was able to turn her company around from a difficult financial situation. She was bold and hired a consultant who then became her CFO and together developed a strategic plan that has repositioned the company and now are in the black or profitable again with solid growth prospects,” says Valdez-Beltran.
Valdez-Beltran says he was also impressed by Jane as a person, “Jane is so compassionate and involved in many local community causes. Her alignment with Accion values is almost unbelievable. She leads with passion, pioneering spirt and integrity. Jane is a true role model for many small business owners out there and her story deserves to be heard. “
The respect is mutual. Spicer says she continues to be impressed with Accion and the organization’s commitment to investing in small business in America. “Accion is a bank with a heart and a vision unlike anything I’ve ever seen. They are investing in entrepreneurs and helping small and medium size businesses reach their true potential. I can only image what the ripple effect of their good work will be on the U.S economy.”
About Accion Fast Track:
Accion Fast Track, which is supported by Capital One and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, will provide a select group of Accion loan clients with intensive business training and coaching as well as individual mentoring to set their business on a path to growth. During the program, participants will develop their own personal and professional growth plans and then work with coaches and individual mentors on achieving their goals. The coaching curriculum includes several classes each on personal foundation, knowing your numbers, marketing fundamentals, and organizational strategy.
Starting around September, once participants’ growth plans are underway, they will be paired with 2-3 individual mentors who will provide them with subject matter expertise in areas where they are facing the greatest barriers to growth. Mentors will be active entrepreneurs or professionals who have a range of expertise in areas including marketing, finance and accounting, business planning, operations, and sales from Fortune 500 companies, major banks, or consulting firms.
The program will culminate with a graduation event in February 2016 in New York City, where we will hear from all participants about what they have learned and how they have grown.
Accion International is a global nonprofit organization that connects small business owners with the financing and advice it takes to create or grow healthy enterprises. Since 1991, the members of the Accion U.S. Network have lent to over 50,000 people in the U.S. Globally, Accion is a pioneer in microfinance, providing loans in over 30 countries through a network of partners.