When Khadijah Haliru first heard about ACCESS she was ready to take K Body Blends, her organic skin-care business, to the next level. Her products had been generating a real buzz, and she saw plenty of potential for growth.
The problem was, after being unemployed for two years her credit rating had taken a hit. Says Khadijah: “I knew I couldn’t go to the banks. I had to find someone else who would give me a chance”.
Khadijah needed $5000 for materials and equipment to build up her inventory. After meeting with ACCESS in June 2016, they agreed to disburse that amount over two installments.
That’s when things really got going. Khadijah, originally from Nigeria, was ready to move beyond vendor shows, where most of her business had been coming from: “The time was right to start looking for a storefront”.
By this time Khadijah had moved to the London, Ontario area, where she learned about Oxford County’s small-business program offering retraining and grants to entrepreneurs willing to open a business in the county. She inquired, and learned that she was eligible.
With her track record, she was the perfect candidate. She had an established business and the know-how to keep it going. ACCESS helped make that happen. “Their loan was a real jump-start. It gave me the confidence to take this next step,” says Khadijah. She paid off her loan earlier this year.
Khadijah hasn’t looked back. “I’m grateful for the support I got from ACCESS. It was amazing to have someone believe in my business idea.”