Under a big Mango tree at a junction in the road near a school and other small businesses is where you will find Juana. She runs her own commodities business in her newly constructed metal container shop. She has many goals and plans for the future, and thanks to the lessons and mentoring from Mentors International in Ghana, she is finding success.
Juana used to sell a few bottles of soft drinks and pastries. She would often walk nearly 14 kilometers daily, carrying her product in a large bowl on her head to reach customers and make an income. Life was very difficult for her family. During the height of the pandemic, she was earning around 60 cents a day.
One day she passed a group of women learning about business. So naturally, she was interested and eager to join this group.
After completing her business training lessons from Mentors International, she qualified for her first loan of $160. She invested this in inventory and a table. She could display her products under the big mango tree in a more central location. After a few weeks, her income started to improve. After only six months, Juana could pay off her first loan and her personal debt, saving $70. Juana has never missed scheduled meetings with her mentor.
Juana’s customers keep returning as she applies the principles she taught in her business mentoring lessons. She needed to add more variety of groceries to her inventory. She sells drinks in crates, biscuits in larger packs, and pastries in larger quantities. Juana’s income was growing, making around $15 a day. She was running out of room on her table. At the beginning of this year, she decided to build a metal container store. It took her ten months, but she could complete it and use her savings to finance this project.
Today her container shop is filled, and she has two large tables out front filled with products. She has two employees, and her husband helps with the business part-time. Currently, Juana has over five hundred adult customers and about two hundred school children for whom she serves snacks and lunch.
Juana is very determined and focused on becoming a wholesaler and a distributor of groceries and other nonalcoholic beverages in this region. Juana’s ultimate goal is to become self-reliant. Since the beginning of this year, she has not taken out any new micro-loans. Instead, she manages and grows her business with her funds and savings.
Juana shared with us, “Life was very hard for my family and me, but many thanks to Mentors International and everybody that contributes to the program for changing our lives through mentoring and business training. Before Mentors International, it was very difficult for me to serve my family two meals daily, but today we eat delicious and nutritious meals three times daily. I have transferred two of my kids to one of the best schools in Akuse to give them a better education. My business has improved from carrying on my head and walking 14 kilometers daily. It has again improved from the tabletop to a container and a more permanent grocery shop with a small attached restaurant. My finances have also improved, so we are no longer living in a rented home but now in our own home. Many thanks to Mentors International for coming into my Life. We are so grateful to you. God richly Bless Mentors International”.
Juana is an entrepreneurial, hard-working woman who lives at Akuse near Kpong in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Juana is married to Seth, and they have three beautiful children.