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Loan Request: Rejected!

I wrote this post about a year ago and decided not to publish it for a while. My goal now is to share with you, the experiences we go through as entrepreneurs when it comes to accessing funding. The hustle for a loan request continues…

Central Bank of Nigeria HQ, Abuja, Nigeria. Photo by Mai Hoto

So on a sad note, my loan request at the bank was rejected. I applied for a personal loan and it’s been an excruciating one month of back-and-forth not with the bank but with my place of work in order to get the relevant documents the bank required for review and approval.

I have been looking for ways of financing the development of our product — dillali.com, a cloud invoicing and inventory solution for small businesses. The initial plan was to finance the development from my savings, personal income from salaries and other consultancy projects. Unfortunately, all are not forthcoming. The little savings went into my marriage last year (trust me, it was a tiny wedding as I am not a fan of big weddings), then the company I work for has been experiencing serious cash flow issues, which has affected my income and entitlements.

And yes, I actually have a “plum” job, which could have covered the cost of the project and still leave me with some good change in the pocket. And third on the list is my side hustle consultancy work, which also brings in what I like to call “fuel” money. Due to the economic turn in Nigeria, businesses are afraid of spending as a result of the election year and government inauguration, which investors have taken a “wait and see approach”.

Sheesh…. All I can say is — it is tough!

Back to the bank and loan rejection. I received an SMS and email from the bank after submitting my request for a loan about 10 days ago. First off, I am most impressed with the speed by which the bank was able to process the personal loan request as it was very simple and straight to the point. After all I was not asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars (lol).

Given the strict banking processes and regulations, the bank and especially the banking officer was quite helpful and professional. One of the submissions you make when applying for a loan is a 3 month bank statement to assess your transactions as well as salary payments, which is key to securing the loan. Unfortunately for me, due to the tough fiscal financial situation, salaries and entitlements due to me, are not regular and as forthcoming as before. Hence the real reason why my application was turned down.

I must say that access to capital and funds remain a challenge for young entrepreneurs and startups, but the fact that I can leverage my job to secure a loan from the banks in Nigeria is a major step forward, as this was almost impossible 10 years ago. Slowly but surely, we will get there.

There is a twist to this story as it is still evolving (LOL). I recently read about a new fund promoted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) called the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI -we definitely know how to come up with good acronyms in this country). I am now in the process of research and possibly applying for the loan. Hopefully, I may be lucky this time as the conditions for the loan by CBN are more favourable to individuals with the aim of supporting entrepreneurs and startups in the creative industry (Fashion, Tech and Film production / distribution). This is huge if we are able to access the loan. Keeping fingers crossed to secure the loan.

I will keep you updated on our activities as we have been affected by the development of our application due to lack of funds. Things don’t usually work out the way we plan, however, we are not losing hope and remain focused on achieving our objective.

See you soon.

Thanks everyone for reading these posts. I am working on several projects and will be sharing more of my thoughts monthly. I share my thoughts on Twitter and Linkedin too.

dillali is a an invoice and inventory management platform (under development) for micro and small businesses, who are seeking a simple and easy solution to improve the way they manage their business processes.

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One thought on “Loan Request: Rejected!

  1. Thanks for this good reads. Looking forward to the next one.

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