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Maria worked for eight years as a seamstress, but it was exhausting work at her age. So she decided to open up a grocery shop instead. But the competition in her community was tough, as there were many similar shops in the area, and Maria was unable to earn as much as she wanted to. In order to overcome her challenge, Maria approached her friend and asked to join her FINCA Village Bank Hawái (after the American state), so that she, too, could benefit from a FINCA loan.
Oralia transitioned into selling cosmetics products. For the first few years, though, her sales remained weak. Then she heard about FINCA and joined the Reflexiones Village Bank in her community, and with her loans she has been able to increase her inventory by purchasing in bulk. The extra capital has boosted her revenues considerably. Today, her cosmetics business is one of her family’s main sources of income, and she is proud that it has allowed her to improve her family’s living standard.
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Patricia earns a living by selling clothing, and when she joined a local FINCA Village Bank several years later, she was able to further capitalize her business with her FINCA loan. Business has been good, and with her earnings, Patricia has been able to supply her house with furniture, a television, and kitchen utensils, as well as look after her parents in their home village.
With a loan from FINCA, she began a business selling cosmetics and shoes, which helped her provide for her family. Lucía did this for several years until deciding to look for something that suited her better. With another FINCA loan, she started running a small food stall outside her home. Today her stall is well stocked and serves her entire community. Knowing that she has both her savings and FINCA’s support, Lucía now hopes to move her business to an established locale where she also intends to sell groceries.
When FINCA was introduced in Malawi in 1994, Mercy was one of its first clients, and used that loan to capitalize her business. She was able to grow her business, and she soon graduated from her produce business. She is now runs a much more lucrative business of selling locally brewed traditional beer known as chibuku.
As a successful entrepreneur, Jane is able to fend for the needs of all her children, such as paying for their tuition fees and other bills, and she also supports her relatives in her home village. She recently purchased land in the commercial city of Blantyre. “My vision is to open a hardware shop to sell building materials and spare parts for vehicles,” says the businesswoman.
Nkhuku Zadekha is a tinsmith. The profits he has been able to generate have allowed him to purchase essential household items. Nkhuku is pleased to note that his standard of living, as well as that of his loved ones, has been improving since he joined FINCA. His dream is to grow his tinsmith business and even hire some people to help him out.
Pius purchases clothing in bulk from Chinese merchants and travels 10 kilometres every day to the nearby town of Limbe to sell them in local markets. With the profits he makes, he is able to pay for his son’s tuition and has built a house for his parents. Pius took a loan from FINCA which allowed him to expand his inventory for his clothing retail business.
Mary Banda became an orphan when she was still young. Growing up with no parents, she had no one to fend for her needs. Mary got married at 18, and family life changed all of that. She is now raising two young children, and she has been selling tomatoes and other vegetables to help support them.
Today Pablo supports his family using his own taxi, and because of FINCA’s support, he has been able to fix his car when expensive maintenance was needed. He is already planning to acquire a second taxi, and when his children finish university Pablo will have achieved the things he has worked so hard for with FINCA by his side.
Maria says she is extremely grateful to her fellow group members for being so supportive of her in her new business venture. Maria says that while her investment is in her business, the profits she makes are being invested in her family, especially in her children’s educations, and that makes her feel powerful.
Fatima’s mother gave her $22 to start up a business of selling oil cakes, a popular local treat. At first, she struggled to grow her business and turn a profit, but her friends enlightened her about the benefits of joining FINCA as a means to increase her business capital. Fatima acquired her first loan, which she used to purchase a bale of second hand clothes, and she started a new business as a clothing vendor.
In 2012, Malawi was heavily hit by the shortage of major foreign currencies, which forced cross border traders to look for the currencies on the black market. Unfortunately, Paul was sold fake US dollars, and this eventually pushed him completely out of business. But Paul didn’t give up. To recapitalize his business, Paul obtained his first loan from FINCA, and he sold his house and his motor vehicle. This helped put him back in business, and he is well on his way to providing for his family again.