The Success of Elisa Saraniana from the Philippines

When asked how she would change the world if she could, Elisa smiles and says, “I would continue to grow my business and mentor others so I could help provide employment for my friends and neighbors. I would be an example of courage and honesty, and show others that even when life is difficult, we can remain standing as strong as the bamboo.”

Elisa Saraniana is a strong and faithful wife and mother of four children from Davao, Philippines. When Elisa was young, her cousin taught her how to weave mats. Later on Elisa had the opportunity to learn to handbag making at the Cor Jesu College, free of charge. Because of her skills in weaving mats, she was quickly able to learn the art of making handbags.

After graduating from her training Elisa opened an in-home business of selling her handmade bags. She was able to take care of her children, while helping with the family’s expenses.

Elisa wanted to purchase more supplies to increase the variety of colors for her handbags she made. The local financial institutions would not lend to a mother and her in-home handbag business.

Elisa’s neighbor told her about Mentors Philippines. Elisa was very excited about the possibilities and quickly became involved with Mentors Philippines. She eagerly learned the business skills she needed to enhance her handbag business. She started keeping detailed records of her expenses and income. Elisa used her first loan to purchase weaving additional supplies in a new variety of colors.

Word quickly spread of her skills and beautiful and colorful handbags. Now she is able to sell directly to buyers from Digos City and Davao City.

Prior to her association with Mentors Philippines, Elisa was earning approximately $40 USD weekly. Elisa now earns about $90 USD each week. With this increase, Elisa is able to help sustain her family’s expenses. They now can afford to send their children to very good schools. It is her hope that with their quality education, her children will be able to achieve their dreams for the future.

Elisa has taught the financial skills to her children that Mentors Philippines taught to her. She says, “I want my children to be positive in life, work hard, to respect others, and to have faith in God.”

When asked how she would change the world if she could, she smiles and says, “I would continue to grow my business and mentor others so I could help provide employment for my friends and neighbors. I would be an example of courage and honesty, and show others that even when life is difficult, we can remain standing as strong as the bamboo.”

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