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The Power of a Small Loan

Written by Ebelina Arteaga, Honduras Together Manager

What power does a small microloan have for a budding entrepreneur in Honduras? It has the power to change a life! It’s called “Economic Empowerment”!

Seven new small business owners in Cofradia and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, are already seeing the fruits of the small business training and mentoring program that they attended earlier this year. Now, with their microloan and ongoing business mentorship, they are eager to see their business dreams come to fruition.

Meet our newest entrepreneurs, all members of Lifeline’s Cofradia Christian Church:

Rosibel ~  Rosibel loves making cakes. She learned to make cakes by watching videos. She has been selling them to neighbors and family and at the factory where her husband works. Her microloan will allow her to purchase baking equipment and ingredients to start a cake business! She hopes it will produce enough income to support her family; she is a mother of four. The training taught her about business finances and product pricing, among many other business skills. She said, "The Economic Empowerment program is a great support for families with low incomes."

Reina ~ For 7 years, Reina worked in a factory over 2.5 hours away. Then, 8 years ago she decided to open a small grocery store (called a “pulperia”). The store produced more income than the factory, and she was able to stay local; spending time with and supporting her husband and 3 children is important to her. With her microloan, she will add meats and other products to her store to meet clients’ needs. She said that the training helped her gain customer service and accounting skills. 

Brenda ~ Brenda has a grocery store (a “pulperia”) and a small hardware store, which helps support her husband and 3 children. Eating into the profits, though, was the interest that she owed to a national bank for a business loan. With the microloan from Lifeline, she plans to pay back part of that bank loan and purchase a freezer which will allow her to offer more products. The training program was helpful, she said. She learned to not take home her own products for personal use without paying the store. “I have to be my own client,” she said. She also learned that she has to leave everything in God's hands. She has new confidence in herself, believing she can succeed, with effort and wise choices.

And meet our newest entrepreneurs in Tegucigalpa, Honduras:

Jenny ~ She is a single young woman and has been attending a Lifeline church since she was little. For several years, Jenny worked in a beauty salon, working with hair and nails. Now she owns her own beauty salon business. “I started my business from zero. I had a few products to work with, and I used to go to my clients houses because I did not have furniture for my own salon. I had a lot of clients, but I was spending my income on products and not seeing much profit. My sister and brother-in-law have helped me with personal expenses. With the loan from Lifeline I have been able to buy some salon furniture and set it up in the house; but we are now looking for another location. With the business training, I learned to save money. The training was motivating! I learned how to organize my business. ‘Economic Empowerment’ is a program that gives us help to run a small business without forgetting that the foundation of everything is God. Small businesses help the community by giving jobs to those who need it. In this training God taught me that I have to be a good steward of what He has given me.”

Pedro ~ Pedro has a wife and 3 children to support. He said, “I earn money through independent work. Lately, I have been painting houses because I haven't been able to find a permanent job. I also like cooking. With the loan from Lifeline, I will purchase all equipment for my kitchen in order to do more cooking. In the training, I learned that I always have to come to God for His leading.” 

Velquis ~ Velquis has a small store and sells products of interest to those in her community. She said, “God has blessed me with the loan from Lifeline. I will be able to buy new products to offer such as lotions and women’s clothes for ladies. With the economic empowerment training I learn a lot, including how to save the profits and give the first fruits to God.” 

Pastor Starky (Tegucigalpa Christian Church) ~ Pastor Starky decided to run a Mexican restaurant in order to gain income for evangelism purposes. “The community likes the food we are selling. Currently, the restaurant’s cooks are volunteers from the church. We praise God because the restaurant is producing income for our evangelism program; but my plan is to hire brothers and sisters from the church to work as employees in the restaurant. The microloan will allow us to remodel the area in the church where the restaurant is. God honors those who honor Him. We have felt God's support for His church.”

These 7 people are grateful to those who support Economic Empowerment! Find out how YOU can help MORE entrepreneurs by reading more about this wonderful ministry!