The Second Hand Clothing Store

Photo: ©2010 Domingo Fermín/World Vision

This month our country of focus is the Dominican Republic, where World Vision and the Investment Fund for Enterprise (FIME) are working jointly toward their goal to help 4,917 microentrepreneurs in eight community development areas access credit for the first time. Over 60% of clients are female. The following story was contributed by Anneli Herrera, World Vision.

Thirty-seven year old Rosandy Paredes didn’t finish school. But today she works hard with her husband looking for a better future for their family. She established her own business thanks to microcredit loans from World Vision.

Rosandy recalls how she and her husband struggled to feed their three and seven-year- old children: “I felt insecure and worried about my family because we had no way to make ends meet. We had to buy food on credit at the grocery store as my husband’s salary was not enough and money did not last until his next paycheck.”

With six children, she gets up early every morning to open the doors of the small business that supplies the biggest part of her family income. Her husband, a mason, struggles to find some job; it is difficult for him to provide money in a regular way, as he barely finds construction projects to be hired.

Three years ago she decided to become a micro entrepreneur. With the idea of purchasing used clothes and goods, this mother now sells in the streets of her village.

Rosandy started with a small loan she got from FIME (World Vision’s Microfinance Institution) and the difference in her economy was immediately noticeable. She says that she has taken several loans since then and these have been greatly beneficial because she would not have been able to start a business by her own.

“I feel more independent, now I can collaborate with our needs,” says Rosandy with eyes full of satisfaction. “I used to be just sitting at home, now I am a productive person,” adds this woman who considers herself as responsible and a hard-worker mother and wife.

Her business has grown and now she sells toys, new and used clothes, shoes, bedspread, towels, bags and other low cost goods. She works eight hours a day and currently she is getting a daily income of approximately RD$1,500 (42 USD), earning RD$36,000 (1,000 USD) per month.

Microcredit has been a great support for Rosandy and her family; it has provided benefits like clothes, shoes, food and education to her children aged 20, 18, 16, 7, 4 and 2. She says that her younger children stay with her at the business when they do not go to school. This way she keeps an eye on them while they learn about how to manage the store.

Rosandy plans to keep on improving her business, the store location and the variety of the merchandise. She expects to continue having the microfinance support so she can move to a larger location and avoid displaying the clothes out in the street.

In the meantime, this family is on their way to development through dignified and hard work, which is possible thanks to VisionFund’s microfinance programs.

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