Jaidi is a seamstress, a mother, and one of the most successful business owners in her town. She grew up in extreme poverty in a family of seven children, where her mother, as Jaidi describes, “fought to maintain us.” Jaidi moved to Managua, Nicaragua seeking economic opportunity, and she learned to sew clothing. She worked very hard, but was earning very little. Wanting to expand her opportunity, she sought out resources to start her own business, but she could not find the $100 needed to realize that dream. Then, her friend Maryuri invited her to meet with her village bank group run by Pro Mujer, a partner of Global Partnerships.
With her first loan from Pro Mujer, Jaidi bought a sewing machine. At first, she sold clothing only to her neighbors, but her market quickly expanded, and over the course of ten years, Jaidi grew her business. She eventually outgrew the loan size of her tight knit village lending group, and was able to successfully transition to being an individual client at Pro Mujer. The women in her group are very proud of her success. She now has eight employees and forty sellers, and describes herself as “completely full with work.” Jaidi continually develops new creative designs to stay competitive, resulting in school directors asking her workshop to make uniforms, and new clients who have asked her to do embroidery.
An entrepreneur and leader in her community, Jaidi offers opportunity to others through employment and a continued eye for innovation. Jaidi’s motivation is for the future of her children.
“In this life, we work, we fight for our children.”
In GP’s 2017 Annual Report, you may have read about Lourdes, an inspiring seamstress who started a new life and built a business starting from a $100 loan. She grew up in Lima, Peru, but moved to Ecuador as a young adult to build her future. She met her partner and started a family. When her partner grew violent, she left with her two young sons and returned to Lima to live with her mother. She and her sons began to build a new life together. She started working as a day laborer, but her wages barely covered food for her family and transportation to and from work.
Lourdes knew she could earn a better living sewing and selling clothes. She learned of the village bank model from a woman in her community who had joined a lending group led by our partner Alternativa. Lourdes was invited to join the group. She secured a $100 loan to buy fabric and sewing materials to start making clothing.
Four years later, she is now earning almost $12,000 per year. Through multiple loans and the solidarity of her village bank group, today Lourdes uses her income to grow her business and build a permanent home for her family.
“Women always look for ways to go forward. I say, ‘Wow!’ How did I do this? I thought I wouldn’t be able to.”
Today, Lourdes shares a workshop and living space in her mother’s home. Her father worked in construction, and taught her how to build. She is very proud to be building her own home next door, with “my own two hands.” Her goals are to finish her home, run her business and care for her sons.
Lourdes hopes to expand her business the way that Jaidi has. At Global Partnerships, we have learned that our work expands opportunity, and opportunity creates prosperity. Jaidi was in Lourdes’ stage of progress years ago and is a testament to the potential all clients have to prosper. Your support to GP not only has an immediate impact on Lourdes launching her first business, it has a long lasting impact for clients like Jaidi gaining years of expertise and leadership to build a thriving clothing business.