Meet Anabel: Ochomogo’s Newest Restaurant Owner

Anabel with her thank you note to donors

“Thanks to Self-Help International and its program for helping us to work. We feel very thankful for this great opportunity of work to move forward in our life along with our children.” – Anabel [translated from original Spanish in note above] 

Anabel is a 28-year-old single mother of two children, and now, thanks to your support, she is also an entrepreneur and restaurant owner!

Anabel wakes up every morning at four o’clock to prepare the enchiladas, tacos and fresh squeezed juices called “refrescos naturales” that she sells in her restaurant.  Her 11-year-old son, Walter, gets up at the same time as Anabel to help her with house chores like sweeping, washing dishes, cooking and helping take care of his 9-month-old younger brother.  Their family has been through difficult times, and Anabel is determined that her sons will have a bright future. She walks Walter to the nearest school, 10 minutes away each morning, to ensure he gets the formal education he’ll need to thrive.  She wants to see him become a “good man, a hard worker, and self-reliant.”

Just a few months ago, Anabel completed Self-Help’s entrepreneurship training course and used her first $50 loan to start making and selling fresh natural juice, enchiladas, and tacos. She told me that the business was good, but that she did not have the money to keep investing in it, because she had to make other expenses in the house.

So I sat down with Anabel to review her business and analyze the initial production costs. Together, we found ways to better manage the business to ensure that Anabel could earn more profit from her products to ensure that the business provided an ongoing source of revenue for the family. Together with the other women who received loans, we reviewed the lessons from the initial leadership, business management, and basic accounting classes taught during the training. Since Anabel is running a restaurant, I also taught her hygienic standards for her restaurant and home.  Anabel says she even learned how to be more social, and made a better relationship with other women in her community thanks to the trainings.

Anabel said that she was so happy with her first loan of $50.00 from Self-Help International because she never imagined that someone would lend her the money for her business since she didn’t have collateral or any guarantee of support that most banks require.

But Self-Help trusted her and provided her the resources and tools she needed to be capable of success. She reported that the $50.00 loan went a long way— it was enough for her to purchase the equipment she needed for her business: two plastic bowls, a plastic bucket, one apron, utensils, and the kitchen supplies need to make tacos, enchiladas and natural juices.

After she repaid her first loan, Anabel saw business growing and requested a second loan of $75 to further invest in her business, which we were able to offer. She used the funds to buy two pigs and two Indian hens. She feels that she is growing little by little and with the profit she receives from her restaurant each day. She is now able to make payments on her house and invests the rest in her family and expansion of business. Anabel shared with us that she is very grateful for the organization and to you – the people whose donations are helping women like her in Nicaragua.

Interested in helping other women like Anabel? A monthly gift of $20 can provide all the necessary training and a micro-loan for a new entrepreneur to start her business. Visit our Donate page and select “donate monthly” to become a sustainable donor!