By Heidi Isaza, Communicator in the Dominican Republic and Brad Stave, Marketing at VisionFund International
Altagracia of the Dominican Republic would travel to the factory everyday, and earn only $40 per week. Her low wages made it difficult to provide childcare, and Altagracia would be forced to leave her son with relatives.
Barely making ends meet and with her son often sick, Altagracia knew something had to change. Change began when her son was enrolled in World Vision’s sponsorship program, and Altagracia was invited to participate in a job-skills training class.
Altagracia learned the practical skill of baking, and how to become a successful business woman. She learned how to run her own business, what price to charge, and how to turn a profit. Altagracia shared, “World Vision opened my eyes.”
A year later, Altagracia was running a successful business. Now making twice of her former wage, she is able to run her business out of her home and take care of her son.
Altagracia hopes to expand her business, and offer various catering services. This will be done as she accesses additional small loans through FIME, the World Vision microfinance subsidiary in the Dominican Republic.
Lives are changed when the entrepreneurial poor start small businesses and impact their own lives. People like Altagracia are very thankful for the help provided by World Vision, as she shares, “without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Over 2,500 loans are disbursed by FIME each year to entrepreneurs like Altagracia. With a portfolio totalling $1.75 million, these small loans are impacting lives as borrowers are able to care for themselves and their children.