It all started with paper. Sitting in front of a tall stack of giant white sheets of printing paper, Nigerian entrepreneur Moses recounts his early struggles to launch his own business. He tried borrowing money from his boss, but it wasn’t enough to get started. Then, in 2012, a friend told him about Accion Microfinance Bank, a longtime Accion partner that specializes in lending to Nigerian entrepreneurs.
“I got my first shop by collecting money from them,” he says. “I started with 150,000 naira (just over US$400). Now they give me up to 1.7 million (approximately US$4700). I used to be squatting with someone, now I have three shops,” he adds.
He hasn’t stopped there — he’s using his profits to expand into other business opportunities. “I have a car business where I buy and sell cars. I also have a house that I lease to tenants. I have property all over, thanks to Accion Microfinance Bank,” he says.
With the growing businesses, he’s also been able to invest in his own family. He’s since married, and he and his wife are raising two children — the older of whom has now started school. He’s helped one of his brothers finance real estate purchases of his own in their home village and paid for university tuition for two others.
He’s grateful for the role his bank has played in everything he’s done so far, and he looks forward to working with Accion Microfinance Bank for years to come. “God is really with them, and I pray he continues blessing them. I won’t leave them, because of how they have impacted my life,” he says.