“Five years ago, my first business was a poultry farm. I worked with a different loan institution that lent me 800,000 Rupees (which is about $8,000 USD) I didn’t know how to manage my income or expenses. I didn’t even know that much about chickens when I started this business. Then all of my chickens died from an unknown disease. My husband and I were greatly troubled as we were drowning in debt. My husband decided to go abroad to earn money and I opened a tea stall.
Sometime later, I got an opportunity to participate in the business training classes conducted by Mentors International. I learned the ways and techniques necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. I realized that I had never applied successful business strategies such as good planning before. I worked hard to pay off our personal debt and started saving. The training and continuous MENTORING empowered and encouraged me to begin a new enterprise. I called my husband back from the foreign land so that we could START work together in a new auto-rickshaw business.
As soon as my husband returned from abroad, we bought an auto-rickshaw with the support of a loan from Mentors International. With the proper application of all the concepts of these business concepts and regular MENTORING, we were able to pay back 40% of the loan within five months. I have also learned to set aside some amount of income as a salary.
It’s been six months since my husband has returned from abroad as an economic migrant. He has been operating our auto-rickshaw while I run the tea-stall. I wake up at five in the morning to open the tea-stall, and my children help me prepare breakfast. My husband helps fetch additional supplies for my tea-stall. I also support my husband with the auto-rickshaw.
Together each day we calculate and record our income and expenditures. We save about 100 Rupees ($10 USD) each day after deducting fuel expenses. I have many regular customers that come to my tea-stall, but most of them pay their bills at the month’s end, so the daily income is less. I prefer operating the auto-rickshaw business more than the tea-stall because it fetches money daily.
We have been moving ahead by helping each other and respecting each other’s work. As a family, we are so much better and happier today than we were five years ago.
I would like to thank Palung Multipurpose Cooperative Limited, Mentors International, and CHOICE Humanitarian Nepal for their support in helping me improve my livelihood options. Their initiatives are highly useful in preventing the people from going to foreign lands in search of work and instead work in the country and be close to family.” This story is told by Jamuna who lives in the Thaha Municipality in Nepal with her husband, two sons, and a daughter.