The Resources & Tools to Transform Meilly’s Life

An update from Nicaragua Micro-Credit Officer, Yolanda Fletes:

I am proud to share that we welcomed 8 more women entreprenuers into the micro-credit training program this month! Meilly, age 24, is one of the youngest women in the group has decided to start a new enterprise rearing pigs. When I first met her, she was already doing some basic trading, selling cosmetics from brands such as Avon, Zermat, and Arabela, but wanted to do more.  She and her husband live in Las Azucenas in her mother-in-law’s home, and she came to Self-Help for guidance on how to expand or diversify her business to earn additional income so that she and her husband can afford a home of their own

After completing the training course, Meilly used her first loan of 1,500 Cordobas (about $50 USD) to build a pig shelter, where she will raise pigs to sell in the market.  Meilly and I worked together to do the math and determine the costs and best use of her budget. She started by purchasing 25 concrete stones, mesh material to wrap around the wood, sand, and 1 bag of cement for a strong foundation.  That allowed her to build a 4 x 4 sq. meter pig pen that will fit her first two pigs. I could tell that Meilly is on the right path when she pointed out that instead of buying the roofing materials and feeding tray, she re-purpose items she already has in her home.

That plan allowed Meilly to use the remainder of her loan to purchase a two-month old piglet for 600 Córdobas.  She expects to be able to sell it within 6 months for 5,000 Córdobas, which will easily allow her to repay the initial loan, expand the operation, and support family expenses.

In total, Meilly said that the micro-loan covered about half of her start-up costs, and personal savings and family support covered the rest. “I spent 2,860 Cordoba’s ($98.96 USD) in all of this,” she said, “and the rest of the supplies I needed to finish the shelter were provided thanks to the support of the rest of the members of my family and especially my mother who supported me with the nails, and wood from the farm, and my husband with the labor because, I didn’t have pay to anybody else to build it.”

That level of family support and commitment of personal savings is critical to getting a new businesswoman started on the right path.  Meilly shared that, “Although I received less money of what was need it to finish the shelter, I am really thankful and happy to be part of the micro-credit program, because I was motivated and encouraged by Yolanda to start my own business, and I would never have thought it was possible before. Now that I have the resources and tools, all I need to do is work hard to keep my life ahead.”

Meilly’s own determination, coupled with support from her family and Self-Help, is allowing her to pursue her dreams. She states excitedly, “I also am thankful to the organization for all the training I received. They helped me think of how to work to start my own business to obtain other forms of income besides the other ways I currently try to earn. My next goal is to expand the pig shelter to host more than two pigs. This way, I can better support my husband with the expenses we have of building our own small home.  Now, I feel inspired and with hope of improving my life.”

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