A Look Into How This Nigerian Helps Immigrant Families In Canada To Borrow Money Without Interest

Adebisi is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of AjoPro, a Nigerian fintech company. After observing how people in Winnipeg, Canada, battled with the conventional banking system, the entrepreneur decided to build the fintech app.

He observed people who were unable to generate funds to pay off college loans or save for a down payment on a home. Another source of concern for him is those who obtain payday loans without understanding how the system operates.

He had been a ‘victim’ of the payday loan industry. He remembered taking out a payday loan and seeing himself fall apart under the weight of escalating interest payments. He said he coped with it by borrowing money from friends and family to pay off the loan he took out.

He told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that it is a problem that most people face when they first arrive in Canada and that the banking system does not help. In this regard, he founded AjoPro in 2019 to give Black people and immigrant families the ability to borrow money without paying interest and avoid costly payday loans.

“You know, a lot of people are struggling in our community,” he said. “I mean, the Black community here in Manitoba, doing three jobs, doing four jobs, you know, just to make ends meet.”

He told CNC that the AjoPro app saw $2 million in transactions in 2021.

“If you look at the response that people have been giving us on our Google, our Google Play, or our Android Apple Store, you will see tremendous joy,” he said. “It’s a feeling that you know, one can’t describe: the fact that you are making people happy, you are changing lives, you’re making people feel like they belong.”

Adebisi first came to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family in 2015. He got his first job at Shell Communications. Among other things, his duty included taking calls. And according to him, he would usually spend like eight hours picking phone calls.

“I have never in my life had to talk to people for like eight hours. You know, it was pretty intense and sometimes people just call you names, people not minding where you are coming… and to them, your accent is ‘bush,’” he said.

Despite the pressure and sometimes outright racism he faced in his first job, Adebisi saw it as a learning curve. According to him, he initially wanted to work on his accent but decided against it, saying it is “something he is proud of.”

Seeing people use his platform to pay their school fees, buy a house or establish themselves in Canada brings Adebisi nothing but an absolute joy.

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