The Propane Seller

“I meet you, I know how to approach you.” That is Tayo Yusuf’s rationale – common sense and business acumen – for the success of her bottled-gas business, Tamfat Nigerian Enterprises. Now in its 15th year, Tayo’s modest-looking business belies its true scope – a staff of four, two delivery vans, clients across various Nigerian states and monthly sales of more than 2 million Naira ($10,000).

Prior to approaching Accion Microfinance Bank five years ago for her first loan, for 150,000 Naira ($750), Tayo sold a mere 5,000 Naira ($25) in bottled gas per month. Most recently she took out her 10th loan, for 1.8 million Naira ($9,000), which she uses to buy tanks and bottled gas in ever greater quantities. “Banks are our partners,” she explains. Without them, she says, her business wouldn’t exist – nor would her dream of someday opening up her own bottled gas plant.