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A successful business requires a minimum of two ingredients: 1) customers and 2) access to patient capital. Ascendus, formerly Accion East, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), provides low-to-moderate business owners with capital and technical assistance services to build a sustainable business.
I interviewed Paul Quintero, CEO of Ascendus, over the telephone on June 15, 2017, which is part of our Throwback series, spotlighting inspiring people and the work they do. This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.
How long have you been involved with Accion?
I’ve been involved with Accion for just over ten years. I started in 2007 as the CFO, or I suppose in that first year the interim CFO, and then amidst the 2008 recession we combined with another Accion entity, which was necessitated by the departure of their CEO.
And this is what I now call the restoration phase, because we went through the recession and had to ensure that we could survive the hits that our portfolios took after absorbing geographies like Georgia, Florida, Southern California, some areas that were hit really hard. After licking our wounds, we integrated the operation, and combined the CEO and CFO role.