Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs is a certified community development finance institution focused on lending and technical assistance support for small businesses in rural and urban Georgia, with a focus on women, people of color, and low to moderate-income business owners.

Our Work

Next Street first supported ACE in 2017 to develop a 5-year strategic plan. Building on its success and emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2022 ACE reengaged Next Street to create a new growth plan. In this work, Next Street led the ACE team to consider expansion and how to impactfully serve their target markets in Georgia with lending products and financial technical assistance. Our team analyzed ACE’s core business operations, engaged external and internal stakeholders in a robust interview program, conducted targeted external research, and created a scenario-based financial planning model. Next Street also led ACE Board members and the executive leadership team in a two-day visioning workshop to create a refreshed vision and theory of change for the organization.

The Impact

As a result of the work, Next Street helped ACE create a strategy and implementation timeline by prioritizing the organization’s strengths and recommending target investments in people, operations, and expertise. The new strategic plan empowers ACE to move ahead with a new mix of increased lending volume, geographic expansion, and targeted product and program innovation to support Georgia businesses to not only survive but thrive.

“After working with Next Street for our first Strategic Planning Project, we were confident they were the right choice for our most recent Strategic Growth Plan. Their knowledge of the CDFI industry and national trends supported our Management Team through the process.  They also got to know ACE so their recommendations were on point.”

Grace Fricks, Founder and CEO
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