Running a business is hard work, which makes the fruits of the labor all the sweeter. Most entrepreneurs do what they do not only for the challenge of it, or because they enjoy what they do, but also because they want to be able to support their families, boost their own standard of living, and perhaps even give back to the community around them. Accion partner Accion Microfinance Bank (Accion MfB) is one of the leading providers of financial services to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, with nearly 40,000 borrowers in 2017.
Accion MfB client Emmanual, a tire salesman, has seen his overall quality of life improve since he began working with the bank. As he puts it, “When I started with Accion, I was living in a room. But today, I live in a two-bedroom flat. When I started with Accion I was single, but now I’m getting married.” He’s also been able to help support members of his family with the money he’s earned. He says, “From this business, I finance my brother’s schooling, and sponsor my other brother. I also take care of my aged parents, who are proud of me. I’ve done a lot through this business.”
Chief Akintunde, another client who’s a restaurateur, has begun to see a third-generation benefit from his business. “All of my children have settled down and now live in their own homes. I thank the Lord because now I have grandchildren who are attending private school,” he says. He’s also tried to help children in his community whose parents can’t afford tuition, explaining, “On one or two occasions, when I’ve seen a child roaming around instead of at school, I will pay for them to go to school, buy their uniform, bag, and books.”
Dr. Akinpelu, who operates a private hospital, describes himself as “a community man.” He says that sometimes he will provide free services to those who can’t pay. He’s thankful to Accion MfB for helping to make it all possible. As he says, “When Accion helps me improve my business, they improve my life.”