From a Rusty bike to a shiny pick-up truck and from a shelf of disposable cups & dishes to a business filled with inventory, Maria’s business has been transformed.

Maria found herself alone with four young children to care for, aged four to nine. Struggling with her husband’s absence and needing a source of income, Maria stood at a crossroads, uncertain about the path ahead. However, fueled by a fierce determination to provide for her children, Maria decided to take matters into her own hands.

Maria noticed the need for businesses selling disposable items like dishes, napkins, and cups within her community. Equipped with an old rusty bicycle, she started her business journey not only to offer these products but also to go the extra mile – literally. Maria differentiated her business by personally delivering the goods to her customers, setting her apart from others.

Despite facing challenges, including a 40-mile journey by bus to replenish her inventory, Maria pressed on. Her income may have been modest, but she steadily expanded her customer base over time. The turning point came when she met Mentors International. With the guidance of her mentor, Maria refined her business plan, honed her pricing strategy, and made informed decisions about her suppliers.

With a modest $200 loan, Maria reinvested in her business, broadening her product range and increasing the quantity of goods she could offer. Her hard work paid off, and she became a dedicated entrepreneur constantly seeking ways to enhance her shop. One significant move was investing in a truck, eliminating the need for time-consuming bus trips, and allowing her to buy supplies in bulk. This not only reduced costs but also expedited deliveries to her customers.

Maria’s resilience and dedication have paid off in many different ways. Three of her children have graduated from high school, inspired by their mother’s example. Following additional training, her two daughters pursued careers as accountants, while her son became a mechanic while still actively supporting his mom in running the store.

Today, Maria’s story is a testament to the transformative power of determination, hard work, and mentorship. Through her unwavering efforts, she built a successful business and paved the way for her children’s education and future careers.

“I’ve been raising my children on my own, and things have gotten a lot better. My neighbors and friends have noticed the positive changes in our lives. Thanks to Mentors International training, I’ve learned valuable skills through both Zoom and in-person sessions. Now, I know how to keep good records and understand the importance of honest business administration. Thanks to the guidance of my mentor I started savings accounts for my business and for myself.

The loans have been a big help. They provided the capital I needed to buy things in bulk. The more I buy, the more I can sell. I’m growing my customer base and adding more delivery routes. With my truck, we can now go to places we couldn’t before, even to bigger cities nearby. It’s making a real difference for us.” – Maria

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