|As of December 2020|
|Total Clients Served:||109,199|
|Amount of Loan Disbursed||7.9B|
|Total Loan Portfolio||152.3M|
|Total Savings Balance||83.4M|
The road to business success is never an easy one. It is often littered with barriers and impediments. Success is not only the product of an amazing idea, it is a product of hard work and perseverance over a long period of time. Thriving entrepreneurs would often share that they started small, but they dreamed big. Some of the biggest names in different industries would often share stories of how they started small, either by peddling food products or common household wares, to having a little sari-sari store (trading store), or sewing clothing for a small demand. Starting small has its advantages, one of them is that you are minimizing the financial risks involved in starting a business. And through this, you can learn from your mistakes and overcome obstacles while keeping up with your vision for the future of your business booming.
In lieu of our 25th anniversary, here are 25 stories of determination, endurance and success:
Persistence, coupled with hard work and resourcefulness really pay off. Thus is the case for Nanay Salome M. Tulipas. A KGI member for more than 21 years, Nanay Salome started with a Php2,000 loan in 1995 to pursue different investments before settling into putting up a venture of fabricating of Automotive Mufflers along Zabarte Road in Quezon City.
Nanay Salome considers herself lucky to be chosen among the first to have an opportunity to get help from Kazama Grameen, INC back when they were struggling to even send their children to school.
Her hard working husband often comes home exhausted. Still persevering and with hope, the couple strained to find ways to put food on the table and be able to provide education for their children.
Their saving grace came when Kazama Grameen opened a branch in Quezon City. Years later, their diligence paid off when they were able to raise the funds to put up their mufflers fabrication venture as soon as their eldest went to college. “Dahil sa [Kazama] Grameen, natuto akong makisalamuha, makibagay saka maki-isa.” (I learned to be social, giving and to be cooperative through Kazama Grameen.)
She's a KGI nominee for the “2013 Citibank Microentrepreneur Awards” and a “10 Outstanding Microentrepreneurs of Quezon City Branch” awardee in 2014.
She's a Center Chief for the Our Lady of Lourdes Center for the Quezon City Branch with a General Loan of P300 000. “Masasabi ko na isa ako sa mga nagtagumpay dahil sa dami kong pinagdaanan. Simula sa panahon nung nagpapa-aral ako, walang ibang umagapay sa akin kundi ang [Kazama] Grameen.” (I can now say that I am among those who succeeded because of all the hardships that I went through. From the day I sent my children to school, no one aided me but Kazama Grameen.)
After the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991, Nanay Eliza Badar and most of the people in her community in Dampay, Palauig experienced the hardships of having no source of income. Struggling to make ends meet, it was in 2004 when Eliza made a life-altering decision to be a KGI member when a Dampay resident told her of an NGO that's offering small loans to the residents for business star-ups. She made Center Chief on their first group loan. Using the first P3 000 capital to start a stick making business and a small trading store, she was able to her her four children to school with one finishing an Education course and is currently based in Qatar.
Eight kilometers away from the KGI Palauig Branch, the resettlement area in Dampay is difficult to reach due to the unpaved road with big stones scattered about. During the rainy season, floods went as high as their knees. Despite the isolation and the road conditions, they didn't deter the members to attend its scheduled meetings.
KGI not only helped built their sources of income, they also helped built their lives. Eliza is grateful for what KGI taught her and the members in her area: perseverance in the face of adversities.
“Kami ay nagpapasalamat sa patuloy na pagtangkilik at patuloy ninyo kaming pinagkakatiwalaan. Lalo pa naming pagsisikapin at palalaguin ang ang aming mga proyekto.” (“We are grateful for the continuing support [of KGI] and for entrusting to us. We promise that we will strive more that our projects shall continue to flourish.”) She now owns 2 motorized vehicles and one jeepney. Her once nipa hut home is currently being remodeled. “Dito ko nakita yung talagang pagbabago ang aming pamumuhay.” (“This is where I really saw the change in our lives.”)
Nanay Tomasa O. Cruz became a member in 2012 with a P10 000 starting loan to establish her lechon (roasted pig) and fried chicken project. Her project started with a single roasting place. It has now expanded to four roasting places and 13 fried chicken carts. She also now owns an FB Van for her venture.
She was also able to send her children to college.
Nanay Tomasa was a KGI nominee for the “2015 Citibank Microentrepreneur Awards” and a “10 Outstanding Microentrepreneurs of Quezon City Branch” awardee in 2014. She's currently a member of the Sacred Heart Center of the Kalookan Branch with a General Loan of P160,000.
Nanay Glenda G. Mijares has been featured before because of her inspirational journey towards a better future for herself and her family. She struggled for years to find the right business to fit her capabilities. Twelve years since being a member, Nanay Glenda started with a P3 000 loan when she was first persuaded to join by Mr. Alex Labsan in February 2004. She decided to put up a small sari-sari store beside her house. Recognizing that this is a better fit, she and her husband decided to expand the business by being a wholesaler, converting her store into a mini-grocery and buying grocery items in the town in bulk to get better prices. After gaining the right amount of capital, she saw that putting up a water refilling station is the next course of action. Near the village plaza and the basketball court, she added other services to her store, including photocopying and ID pictures services. She also started to trade rice and bought a rice farm.
“Lagi kong iniisip kung ano ba yung kailangan nung mga tao para mas maraming tumangkilik sa amin.” (I always think of what the people need so they will patronize our store.)
As of present, she has also put up a small bakery.
A Center Chief for the Baquilan Center of the Iba-Botolan Branch, Nanay Glenda is grateful for the trust that Kazama Grameen, INC has bestowed upon her.
“Iba talaga sa Grameen. Iba mag-asikaso. Mababait at magandang kausap. Talagang gagabayan ka. Marami na akong nasubukang nagpapautang pero Grameen lang talaga yung may malaking naitulong sa akin.” ([Kazama] Grameen is different. They took care of me. They are approachable. They will really guide you through. I have tried different lending firms but only [Kazama] Grameen provided the help that I needed.)
She now has a bungalow house and has been able to purchase an elf truck and a van. She’s a KGI Nominee for the “2015 Citibank Microentrepreneur Awards” and a 2014 awardee of “10 Outstanding Microentrepreneurs of Iba-Botolan Branch”.
She’s also the first member that was granted a General Loan of P300,000.
“Dati, nag-aalala ako sa kinabukasan ng mga anak ko. Ngayon, nakakatulong na ako sa iba, lalo na pag may emergency. Malaking bagay ang nagawa ng Kazama Grameen sa buhay namin.” (Before, I used to worry about my children’s future. Now, I can help out others, especially in times of emergency. Kazama Grameen has done a great thing to our lives.)
For some people, 5 years is not enough of a long time to turn their lives around. But, with great resolve, diligence and a mind set to achieve her goals, Nanay Yolanda A. Baril accomplished what is almost impossible for others. A member of the Nayom Annex Center of the Infanta Branch, she used her initial loan of P5 000 to sustain her fish peddling business. When her capital grew, she was able to purchase a small motorized fishing boat. So, the fish that she peddles came from the batch that the boat catches, instead of buying from another source.
Soon after, she’s able to purchase more motorized boats. Totally, she has 8 motorized boats. She’s also able to acquire a motorcycle, a tricycle and an elf truck she uses for fish delivery.
A KGI Nominee for the “2015 Citibank Microentrepreneur Awards”, Nanay Yolanda has been able to send her child to college.
Nanay Esmeralda B. Castaneda certainly did not imagine that her life would improve in just a span of 6 years. She joined the Tagumpay Center of the Malate-SPA Branch in 2010 to acquire a starting loan of P5,000. By God’s grace, her determination and the help of KGI, her once small business of selling items for a peso each grew to a P3,000 daily income. With a current General Loan of P80 000, Nanay Esmeralda has been able to purchase her own transport vehicle.
Nanay Maria Victoria A. Espiritu’s life is on the fast track to success. In the span of just seven years, her initial loan of P5,000 back in July 2008 grew to a General Loan of P280,000. A member of Our Lady of Lourdes Center of the Quezon City Branch, she is currently a meat dealer and has a stall in Kaybiga, Caloocan.
She has now purchased a vehicle for delivery purposes.
She’s also a 2014 “10 Outstanding Microentrepreneurs of Kalookan Branch” awardee.
A member for more than 21 years, Nanay Salvacion J. Portuguez used the opportunity offered by Kazama Grameen, INC to improve the quality of her and her family’s life. A Center Chief for the Sacred Heart Center of the Kalookan Branch, she started by borrowing a P2,000 loan in October of 1994. With her efforts, she has been able to provide for her family. Now, she’s a proud owner of a passenger jeepney and a house for rent. Currently, her General Loan now grew to P60,000.
She was among the “10 Outstanding Microentrepreneurs of Kalookan Branch” awardees in 2014.
Not everyone can turn scraps into cash. But, for Nanay Rosalinda S. Ebacuado, scraps of fabric equal revenues when she decided to pursue a venture in making and trading rags. What started as a side project grew into a viable source of income. She has now proudly had a house built she calls her own through her labors.
She started in March of 2010 as member of the Lujan Center in the Malate-SPA Branch, with an initial loan of P4,000.
A child getting a college degree is every parent’s dream. For Nanay Adella Espenilla, it has become a reality when her children finished their studies through her efforts in growing her initial loan of P3,000 in February of 2000. She is currently running a sari-sari store.
A member of the Fatima Center in the Camarin Branch, her General Loan has now grown to P50,000 after 16 years of membership.
Starting at a P5,000 Loan in February of 2008, Belen L. Tarectecan is now starting to reap the fruits of her hardships. Currently a Center Chief for the San Pascual Annex of the Infanta Branch on her 8th year as a member, her piggery and farming project that started with just a sole pig grew. At present, she has 10 sows and employing caretakers for her pigs. She also now proudly owns 2 hectares of land and numerous farm animals, including four cows, two carabaos and numerous goats. After availing a Housing Loan for P20,000, her dream of having a house of her own is now coming true. Currently, the construction is undergoing for Belen's 112 sqm house.
She was also a “10 Outstanding Microentrepreneurs of Kalookan Branch” awardee in 2014. Her General Loan is now at P150,000.
Nanay Luvenia P. Reclozado became a member in 2002 after being encouraged by Rev. Fr. Sean Connaughton; and started by borrowing P3,000 to further pursue a fishing endeavor. Before, Nanay Luvenia only sells fish caught using traditional methods by the plate for a measly P20 per plate. Not enough to be able to provide for her family. Since her joining in the Kinabukasan Center of the Subic Branch of KGI, she was able to grow her business for the past 14 years. She has been able to provide for her chidren’s education and able to help and provide jobs to other people. She currently owns four motorized boats.
She was also a “10 Outstanding Microentrepreneurs of Subic Branch” awardee in 2014.
Nine years since her joining, Nanay Perlita A. Ramat has already achieved one of her dreams: to be able to successfully send her children to school for them to get their degrees. She pursued her piggery business by borrowing her initial loan of P4,000. A member of the Aningway Center in the Subic Branch, her General Loan is now at P35,000.
Trying out different sources of income since becoming a member in March 1999, it took three years for Nanay Elisa B. Elifane to start her niyog (mature coconut) business using an old tricycle. Her humble beginnings of a P3 000 starting loan now grew to a General Loan of P150,000. The old tricycle is soon replaced by a small elf truck she uses to trade her coconuts to the other provinces.
She also included rice in her trade and put up a small store.
She reiterates that once a member has availed a loan and started a business, they should be conscientious of their expenses and to not waste on unnecessary items. She is thankful that KGI has provided her with an opportunity for a better life.
Started in February 2000, Nanay Rowena M. Metra’s initial General Loan of P4,000 grew to P100,000 in the span of a 16-year membership. Presently, she’s a member of Gama Center in the Sta. Cruz Branch. Her current business projects include a flower shop, a bakery and a sari-sari store.
Having a child getting a college education and an IT degree has once been a dream for Nanay Marites M. Alvares. It became a reality with the help of KGI. Starting in December 2000 by becoming a member at the Crusher Main Center in Olongapo Branch and borrowing P2,000, she now has a General Loan of P100,000.
Her businesses included Hog Raising, Poultry and Goatery. She also has a Sari-Sari Store where she also sells homemade candies and kakanin (sticky rice treats / native delicacies).
Another dreamer, Nanay Rosalily E. Baldenor had come through in sending her child to school to get an IT degree. A KGI member since April of 2011, she joined the Balic-Balic Center in the Olongapo City Branch to borrow P5,000. Putting up a Sari-Sari Store, an RTW store, a House For Rent business and a computer shop, she now has a General Loan of P120,000 and a CBU of P85 000.
A member of the San Agustin Center in the Castillejos Branch for 17 years and counting, Nanay Marilou V. Chu needed the boost to help her farming business. KGI was able to give her P1 000 starting loan in June of 1999. As of now, her General Loan is at P55,000.
She is now a proud owner of two motorcycles and several ventures, including a Trading Store, a School Supply Store and a Grocery Store. She's also able to send her two children to school to earn a college degree.
With a current General Loan of P40,000, Nanay Maria D. Torno is now a KGI member for more than 10 years since her inclusion in December 2005. A Center Chief at the Capaniquian 2 Center in the San Felipe Branch, she began with a P4,000 loan to start up a business that has now expanded to owning a Sari-Sari Store, a Chairs and Tables Rentals business and a piggery.
A starting loan of P3,000, Nanay Judita R. Reyes used the money to start up a venture. She settled on putting up a Sari-Sari Store that has now expanded to include renting out Chairs and Tables for different occasions and a piggery. A Center Chief at the Sto. Nino 2 Center in the San Felipe Branch, her General Loan is now at P40,000.
Tatay Esteban D. Agasa never imagined a better life for him and his family until he decided to try to take a P4,000 starting loan at KGI in 2004. A member for more than 12 years at the Pundakit Center in the San Marcelino Branch, what started as a fishing business, is now slowly transformed to include renting out his 3 fishing boats that he personally owns. He also owns a tricycle which he uses for additional income. His General Loan is now at P50,000.
With a thriving bag manufacturing business, Nanay Gina R. Manalang recalls how she started in May 2010 with just borrowing P4,000. A current member of the Natividad Center in Guagua Branch for six years, her bags are manufactured with her own high-speed sewing machine that she purchased. She already has a stall for her bags in Olongapo City Public Market and an L-300 van for her deliveries.
Her greatest achievements are her children. She was able to send them to school and them earning their degrees – a Civil Engineering degree and a Nursing degree.
Her General Loan is now at P40,000.
Cherryle B. Vicente became a member five years ago. In March of 2011, she started with a P5,000 loan to start up her Food Processing and Food Manufacturing venture. She's a member of the Teresa Homes Center of the Tarlac Branch. She now has a General Loan of P40,000.
Started by borrowing P2,000 in December 1994, Nanay Marilyn B. Lozano's six children has already finished their college education through her Hog Raising business, a Sari-Sari Store and her Palay (unhusked rice) Buy and Sell business. Twenty-one years and running, she is currently a member of Pinagrealan Center of the Candelaria-Masinloc Branch with a General Loan of P40,000.
Nanay Jolly A. Delos Santos is presently a member for more than 15 years since her start in July of 2000. With a starting loan of P4,000, she put up a small sari-sari store and also traded buho (bamboo poles). She has now invested in a Smart Padala outlet and is currently managing her own computer shop. Nanay Jolly is a member of Bamban Main of the Candelaria-Masinloc Branch. A Hunta and President of the KGI-Mutual Benefits Association, her General Loan is now at P30,000.
We have seen a noteworthy figure of success stories through microfinance while recognizing that it will only work with the member's will to succeed, resiliency, determination, resourcefulness and the ability to be financially-conscious. Keep in mind that success does not happen in an instant. Money is not the only thing that will help you. You have to harness the right mind set to be focused at the task at hand, to be mindful of your expenses and the need to lessen acquiring loans. We also have to be able to take care of the trust that was given to us.
The business world is fickle and we have to keep up with the times. The future is uncertain but we create our own opportunities. We just need to dare take the risk.