With eight children, Mr. Ononyia already has his hands full at home. He needs his small mattress-selling business to run smoothly to provide the time and money to support his family.

Mr. Ononyia with a mattress

Since Mr. Ononyia started his mattress business in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2000, he’s seen how technology has changed the game. “Now instead of cash, customers transfer money [digitally]. You don’t have to go to the banks anymore,” he says. Like his customers, Mr. Ononyia increasingly relies on digital financial services. He looks to Accion Venture Lab’s portfolio company Lidya for the efficient financing he needs to run his business. Lidya’s proprietary fintech platform provides an easy online application process for small and medium enterprises to apply for funding. The technology uses alternative data sources to make intelligent loan decisions and disperse credit within 24 hours. “It’s very hard to get a loan in this country these days; I’m thankful to Lidya,” says Mr. Ononyia.

Lidya’s loans have helped Mr. Ononyia obtain funds quickly, allowing him to swiftly grow his business so he can support his family: “It affects my family positively — the profits are increased, which helps me put my kids in school.”

As Mr. Ononyia’s business grows and his children grow up, he sees how the success of his endeavor contributes to the future success of his family. He has used his own enterprise to teach his children about business and spark their interest in entrepreneurship. “My son is studying business and is my chairman,” he says with pride in his voice. Leading by example, he hopes to give his children the opportunities and skills to build bright futures for themselves. “I want them to have a better standard of life and see them better our country,” he says.

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Manashi tends to her rice crops in Odisha, India
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