Programs & Resources

At Accompany Capital we create paths to success and self-sufficiency for immigrants & refugees – as well as other fellow New Yorkers. We don’t just support our clients with affordable loans, we continue to support them with:

Refugee IDA Savings Program

The Accompany Capital IDA program is a specialized savings program for refugees & individuals with approved asylum-status who successfully save money and complete a financial literacy course. After the course is completed, the program matches each dollar you have saved with a dollar in grant money, up to $2,000 per individual or $4,000 per family. You still have control over the money you have saved, while the “matching grant” is kept in a separate account that can only be used for down payments, investment in your small business, or your education.

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Accompany Capital’s Francess Smith with IDA clients

Achieving Savings Goals

Are you a refugee interested in saving money for:

  • A first home or apartment
  • Starting or growing a small business
  • Continuing your education, vocational training or professional certification

If so, our IDA (Individual Development Account) program may be right for you. The Accompany Capital IDA program is a specialized savings program for refugees & individuals with approved asylum-status who successfully save money and complete a financial literacy course. After the course is completed, the program matches each dollar you have saved with a dollar in grant money, up to $2,000 per individual or $4,000 per family.
You still have control over the money you have saved, while the “matching grant” is kept in a separate account that can only be used for down payments, investment in your small business, or your education.

Family Size & Income Limit:

1 member: $24,280
2 members: $32,920
3 members: $41,560
4 members: $50,200
5 members: $58,840
6 members: $67,480
7 members: $76,120
8 members: $84,760

Financial Literacy Seminars

Accompany Capital’s seminars help ensure that you are prepared for the financial responsibilities of entrepreneurship, home ownership, continuing education or vocational training. All classes are free and held at our offices. Topics include:

  • Budgeting
  • Goal setting
  • Managing credit
  • Investment and saving
  • The home-buying process
  • Starting a business

 

FAQs

Are the matching funds deposited into my account?

No. The matched money is kept in a separate, Accompany Capital-controlled account. When you are ready to use your IDA savings to buy your first home, or begin a business, the matching funds plus your savings are paid directly by Accompany Capital to the bank you are working with. You have no access to the matching funds at any time.

Will I be taxed on the matching funds?

No. You will not be taxed on the matched income.  However, you will be taxed on any interest earned in your individual savings account.

What if I am not able to use my IDA money as I had originally planned?

You may keep the money in your IDA account for up to 12 months after completing the program until you are ready to use it for the specified purpose. After 12 months, your savings will be automatically returned to you, and your matching funds will be withdrawn by Accompany Capital.

What if I change my mind? For example, what if I get a full-time job and decide not to start my own business?

You will get back the money you saved but lose any matching funds.

This sounds too good to be true. How is it possible?

Most people have never heard of the Independent Savings Account (IDA) program and are surprised to learn that they can be rewarded for saving money.

IDA was designed by the Federal government to encourage low-income individuals and families to get into the habit of saving money. The hope is that by learning about money management, then using their own talents and energies to make and save money, people will become self-sufficient faster.

The U.S. government believes this goal of self-sufficiency is so important that it is willing to reward those who attend money management classes, make a savings goal, stick to their savings plan, and achieve their savings goal.  The government believes that those who successfully complete the IDA program will have the skills needed to be more financially successful, then pay enough additional taxes, so that the program will pay for itself.

For more information on IDAs, visit Prosperity Now’s website, formerly The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).

Can anyone get an IDA?

IDAs are designed for low-income families and individuals, as defined by the Federal government (requirements listed above).  To qualify for an IDA through Accompany Capital, you must have refugee or asylee status.

I need a new car. Can I use an IDA to buy one?

No. You can only use IDA to purchase a first home, further your education, or fund a business. If you own a car or taxi service, you may use the IDA to purchase a vehicle for that business.

For more information, contact:

Francess Smith, Manager of IDA Program
fsmith@accompanycapital.org
212-898-7850

Click here for a fact sheet on Accompany Capital’s IDA Program

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Home Buying Programs

At Accompany Capital, we can help you become a first-time home – or apartment – buyer through saving programs which provide financial incentives, advice on saving money for a down payment and closing costs, and seminars about the mortgage process and the benefits & responsibilities of home ownership.

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Saving for a First Home

If you are a low to moderate-income New Yorker, we can help you qualify for one of these government-sponsored savings programs:

  • The HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides a grant up to 6% of a home’s purchase price (or $40,000, whichever is greater) to be used towards down payment and closing costs.
  • The First Home Club Matched Savings Program, which provides incentives for home buyers to open and fund a first home savings account. Qualified individuals can receive $4 for every $1 saved, with a maximum grant of $7,500.
  • The Individual Development Account (IDA) for refugees, which matches every dollar saved (up to $2,000 per individual or $4,000 for a family) to encourage creating and contributing to a savings account for the purchase a home.

Understanding Home Ownership

Accompany Capital’s home ownership seminars will help you understand the home purchasing process and what is involved in home ownership. The seminars are offered four times a year and fulfill the education requirement for both the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program and the First Home Club Matched Savings Program, including:

  • Understanding mortgages and the mortgage application process
  • Special down payment assistance programs
  • Benefits and responsibilities of home ownership
  • The home inspection process

For more information, contact:

Francess Smith, Manager of IDA Program
fsmith@accompanycapital.org

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Supporting Women Entrepreneurs

If you are a woman with her own small business, we help you navigate some of the special challenges that entrepreneurial women face by offering you targeted loans, tools, and training, as well as networking and support from other New York businesswomen who have shared, and understand, your journey.

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Through our partnership with organizations like New York Women in Business, we sponsor and participate in events that highlight women entrepreneurs’ stories and bring together women who are starting, building, or expanding business to learn from each other’s journeys.

Women who are not our clients are also welcome to take advantage of the many workshops we offer on every phase of entrepreneurship, from starting a business, to marketing it successfully and take it to the next level.

We have also created a speaker bureau – AC Voices – highlighting Accompany Capital clients who have successfully navigated the very diverse challenges they have faced and can tell the story compellingly at meetings, conferences, and panels to uplift other women – and men – on their journeys. Contact us to learn more about this program.

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Workshops

We have workshops that guide you through many of the processes and skills you need to make sure your business continues to grow and thrive.

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Homebuyer Education

**This program will be online until further notice, accessible from any device 24 hours a day, 7 days a week**

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) established the HomeFirst
Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides qualified homebuyers with up to $40,000 toward the down
payment or closing costs on a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative in one of the five boroughs
of New York City.

The following topics are covered:

  • Steps of the home buying process
  • Preparing for the expenses
  • Financial management of home ownership
  • Post purchase tips

REGISTER HERE
Discount code: BCNA50
Eligibility Requirements: Click here

For more information, please contact Francess Smith at (212) 898-7850 or fsmith@accompanycapital.org

This workshop is put on through the Housing Partnership Development Corporation

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AC Voices

Accompany Capital is proud to bolster women entrepreneurs with inspiring stories to tell. Some are refugees, others are immigrants; all share their compelling journey towards the American Dream. Having overcome many challenges to establish profitable and growing businesses, hearing about their firsthand knowledge and experiences enrich and empower communities and organizations. The Accompany Capital Voices program features compelling women small business owners who are available for speaking engagements and interviews in many different languages and locations.

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Please contact Nicole Mas at nmas@accompanycapital.org or 212-898-4112 for more information.

 

Natalia Konovalova

The owner of Le’Bulga Inc., a luxury handbag company, Natalia tells an impressive story of building a successful business from the ground up in the highly competitive fashion industry. After immigrating to the United States in 1995 from Uzbekistan, she graduated from FIT with a degree in Fashion Design. Upon graduation, she worked for various high-end fashion brands, which led to her passion for handbag design.

Le’Bulga handbags have been worn by celebrities and fashion insiders, and have been featured in fashion magazines alongside luxury brands including Burberry and Chanel.

Nancy Reynoso

The daughter of Argentinean and Colombian immigrants, Nancy is an impassioned advocate for New York City green taxi drivers and women entrepreneurs. As the first New York City taxi driver to receive a green taxi permit, she is highly regarded as a groundbreaker and leader in her industry. She has driven over 15,000 miles taking New Yorkers, including former Mayor Bloomberg, to their destinations.

Her goal is to continue to represent her industry through community organizing and speaking engagements with City agencies including the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Fluent in English and Spanish, Nancy is also pursuing a second career in translation services.

Annabelle Santos

The daughter of Filipino immigrants and the owner of SPAdét, Annabelle tells an inspiring story about leveraging entrepreneurship to solve real-world problems. Using her background in biochemistry, she began experimenting with natural personal care products in 2008 to heal her daughter’s eczema. Once she perfected a formula that worked for her daughter, she founded SPAdét, which is best known for its O’Live Castile Soap – a pure, safe, and environmentally friendly liquid cleanser for sensitive skin.

SPAdét has secured large contracts with educational institutions, medical facilities, child learning centers, and specialty pharmacies.

Alimata Zabsonre

The owner of Alima Hair Braiding in Brooklyn, Alimata tells her moving story about making the best of challenging circumstances – and uplifting other women along the way. A refugee from Burkina Faso who arrived in New York with her husband and children in 2012, she opened two hair braiding salons after putting herself through school.

Alimata’s salons employ eight women from her community. She is also the founder and president of the Association of African Women, a nonprofit networking group for African women entrepreneurs.

Archana Pokhrel

Archana came to the US from Nepal in 2003 and studied chemistry and sociology at Hunter College, graduating in 2010. She worked in sales, marketing, and training at Time Warner and Verizon before becoming the business manager at a Manhattan day spa. She was able to save enough money to open her own business on the Upper East Side in 2018: Lenox Spa and Nails, a spacious day spa specializing in manicures, pedicures, and facial treatments. A loan from Accompany Capital helped finance completion of construction and the purchase of spa equipment. Lenox Spa and Nails has created 11 full-time jobs.

As a member of the Accompany Capital Voices Speakers Bureau – women entrepreneurs who are ambassadors for Accompany Capital and experts in their business sectors – she is available to speak to groups about entrepreneurship.

Marieme Keita

Marieme Keita, who came to New York from the Ivory Coast in 1992, speaks eloquently about work life balance, including making time for the joy her four children bring while still managing employees and a thriving business.

She began work as a hair braider in 1992, later opening her own own storefront braiding salon. Learning by doing, she gained the experience and confidence she needed to open her next business in 2015 – Keita West African Market – and has saved enough to purchase a home for her family as well. Located on a street with extremely high foot traffic in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn, the Keita West African Market now carries over $200,000 in merchandise and has recently expanded to include Lycamobile and money transfer services as well.

Her goal is to continue to expand and provide the most value she can for her customers, employees, and community while enjoying life and her beloved family as well.

Special thanks to the New York Women's Foundation for supporting this project. Contact us at voices@nybcna.org for booking information.

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Immigrant Heritage Week Awards

We were thrilled to have the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), Bitta Mostofi, join us to present the 2019 awards. Under her leadership, MOIA has created programs and policies to advance the integration of immigrant New Yorkers into the city’s civic, economic and cultural life.

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Resources

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Business Licensing and Permits

NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) helps businesses start, operate and expand in New York City by providing a wide range of services. They can help you navigate government bureaucracy to cut through “red tape,” resolve an issue or get permits and licenses. Services are provided at no cost, regardless of the size or stage of your business. Visit: nyc.gov/sbs

Business Planning

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) website offers extensive information to help small businesses succeed, including a business planner, workshops, programs, and counseling www.sba.gov

Credit Score and Credit Repair

  • Accompany Capital’s Classes on How to Establish Good Credit: Please check our workshop schedule for workshops or contact Francess Smith at 212-898-7850,fsmith@accompanycapital.org
  • Free Credit Report: You can get a free report from each credit bureau every 12 months from www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228
  • How Credit Scores are Calculated: Learn how credit scores are calculated and how to maintain or improve your score. www.myfico.com
  • GreenPath Debt Solutions: For one-on-one assistance call 1-800-550-1961 or go to www.greenpath.com to schedule an appointment with a counselor
  • Debt.org: For a wealth of information on steps to get back to financial responsibility and freedom, go to http://www.debt.org
  • Credit health: Understand more about how your credit score is calculated, and how your decisions affect your score. Available via web and mobile app, see https://creditwise.capitalone.com/home

Home Ownership

  • Accompany Capital’s Home Buying Program: To learn more about our program to assist low to moderate income households to become homeowners, contact Francess Smith at 212-898-7850 or fsmith@accompanycapital.org
  • New York Mortgage Coalition: Nonprofit collaboration of mainstream financial institutions and community housing agencies dedicated to helping low to moderate income families in New York become first-time homeowners. Through financial workshops and one-to-one counseling they provide critical pre-purchase education. To find get information on resources for home buyers, go to www.nymc.org or call 212-742-0762

Asset Development Programs

The Corporation for Economic Development (CFED) is a multi-faceted organization working at the local, state and federal levels to create economic opportunity that alleviates poverty. CFED was an early leader in the creation and growth of asset development programs like microenterprise and IDA programs which expand financial opportunities for low-income households. For further information on topics which range from innovation and advocacy in this field to a directory of all IDA Programs in the country, go to www.cfed.org.

Immigrant & Refugee Resources

  • The International Rescue Committee in NYC: Provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture and other immigrants to thrive in America. Call 212-377-4728
  • Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees: Provides comprehensive and culturally sensitive programs that include community education, supportive services, and community organizing. Call 718-462-0791

Queens Small Business Resource Guides

We are proud to have partnered with Chhaya Community Development Corporation to produce this excellent Small Business Resource Guide for businesses in Queens. Available in English, Spanish, Nepali, and Bangla.

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