Kehinde Olufelo wakes up at 5:00 a.m. every day to make the trip in Lagos traffic to the market near Oke-Arin branch, which can take up to two hours. She opens her fabric stall, situated in one of the most colorful corners of the market, every morning at 7:00. Kehinde's stand is unique, however – most of her fabrics are different from those of her neighboring vendors because she imports them from outside Nigeria. She brings in cloth not only from nearby countries, but from southeast Asia as well – often traveling to hand-pick the fabrics and negotiating their shipment back to Lagos.
Kehinde has been a client of Accion Microfinance Bank since they opened in 2007, and has grown from taking U.S. $900 loans to U.S. $11,500. Her business has grown, too – from a small shed to two separate market stalls; and from a one-woman show to support four employees. Her biggest jobs come from a Nigerian custom called aso-ebi: the uniform outfitting of sometimes hundreds of attendees of weddings, funerals, and other major celebrations.
Kehinde is clearly a gifted and ambitious entrepreneur, and was honored as Accion Microfinance Bank's Client of the Year in 2013, out of more than 20,000 borrowers and 125,000 savers. Her children are all in their twenties – her daughters are both in graduate degree programs, and her son is working with an investment firm. It's clear that ambition runs in the family!