Training and strategy help grow Martha’s business

Martha selling her products at the local market

Beneficiary from El Espabel – Melchorita

Martha is a 61-year-old woman working with Self-Help’s micro-credit program. She and her husband, Alfredo, have seven children. Three of them are grown and have left the home. Four children, age nine to 21-years-old, are still living at home.

Martha uses her loan to purchase a variety of products such as corn, beans, avocados, eggs, zucchini, coconuts, and dairy products among others to sell for a profit at the local market in San Carlos.

Martha is also applying the training she and her children received from the micro-credit program to her business. The family is gardening and using an irrigation system to grow vegetables, hot peppers, papaya, passion fruits, and zucchini among others. Martha is saving money and time as she no longer needs to visit other communities to purchase these products. Instead, she is harvesting her own produce to sell fresh at the market. Martha also received Self-Help’s training on pickling vegetables and making jams and marmaldes. If in any case she can’t sell her fresh produce, she can add value to the unsold products by using them in marmalades, jellies or by pickling the vegetables. These products can also be sold at market for a profit.

Martha and her daughter in their garden

In addition, Martha learned basic bookkeeping skills through Self-Help’s trainings. She now understands when she is making a profit, whereas before the training she didn’t keep records and know if she was earning money or losing money. Martha knows that she will expend about 600 cordobas, around $23, per week on the value of her products to be purchased. Plus she is including the expenses for her personal needs such as meals and transportation. This was not something she calculated into her expenses before. Now Martha can see the profit and with it she helps her husband with the upkeep on the house and contributes to their children’s education.

Martha said she is really thankful for Self-Help International and the donors for allowing her the opportunity to learn new skills and providing her with a strategy to grow personally as well as economically. She is pleased that her family has also learned to contribute to her business through caring for their garden and irrigation system.

Your support has provided Martha, and others like her, with the proper tools to grow her small business and include her family in its success. Thank you for your generous donation.