In 2008, Joy Aghogho Money started a school-to-school outreach programme where she not only offered free optometry consultation to pupils and teachers but also sold contact lenses. At one of her outreach sessions, Joy’s programme impressed a team from the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria that was on a community health mission. The SPDC officials later engaged her as a consultant optometrist for their community health programme. To date, her collaboration with the SPDC community health team has enabled over 4,000 people to receive professional eye care services.
Joy has also been running a clinic in Ughelli, but was finding herself increasingly constrained by the lack of equipment for certain eye care procedures. This left her with no choice but to refer patients to better-equipped clinics in Warri and Port-Harcourt that lay at a distance of approximately 20km and 82km from Ughelli.
Now, with investment proceeds from the Aspire Small Business Fund, GroFin is assisting Joy in upgrading her clinic to a full-fledged ophthalmic workshop, capable of providing efficient and quality eye care services.
GroFin has also helped Joy create her first set of financial statements from the records of her sales and the corresponding expenses. “These statements form the basis of the Fund’s investment decision. We have also recommended that the Fund finance the accounting and financial management software for the clinic,” explains Friday Essienenkak, Investment Executive for GroFin in Port-Harcourt and manager of the Aspire Small Business Fund.
Additionally, GroFin introduced Joy to the Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) for admission under its newly created Micro and Small Businesses membership category. This membership provides Joy with access to a high level association that will ensure her the organisational visibility and business linkages which are needed for sustainable growth.