Vicenta Grebialde of Ligao City,Albay is a strong woman who does not take no for an answer. She applies this attitude especially in business. For example, she put up a sari-sari (variety goods) store not once but thrice. For her persistence, she is now a proud owner and manager of a grocery store which sells household goods and farming puts with a gradually growing money transfer (Smart Padala) services on the side.
Vicenta’s first try to set-up a store involved a capital of Three Hundred Pesos (PhP300). She knew that there will only be a handful of products to sell with this small capital but she just had to find a way to augment the family income. Her husband, Francisco, can only earn so much from tricycle driving, however hard he worked. In no time, the stored closed shop as both capital and its little income got diverted to pay for household expenses.
Her second chance came when she joined SEDP and availed a business loan of Three Thousand Pesos (PhP3,000). The family put together a 1 x 1 meter store space to better display the goods. She also diligently kept an inventory of the products and a record of sales and expenses. The store flourished with the care and attention she put into it. She also poured a steady flow of additional capital as soon as she fully pays an outstanding loan and avails another loan at higher amount from SEDP. “Though tired from work at the store, I was happy and contented because we had enough earnings to supply the simple needs of my family,” recalls Vicenta.
Then tragedy struck. Fire burned the store to the ground sparing nothing. Sad but not defeated, Vicenta rebuilt the store using capital borrowed from SEDP. On her third try, the store grew and branched out into other businesses such as livestock raising with five hogs and seven goats, and transport service with a multicab, a tricycle and 2 motorcycles. “The key to this business growth is in prudent and wise use of money. We live a simple life and only spend on necessities. It has become a habit for me to set aside money for the weekly loan payment. In more than a decade of actively borrowing from SEDP, I have maintained a 100% repayment record. Having proven my trustworthiness and financial dependable ally in my business then till now,” shares Vicenta.
Vicenta also developed a savings discipline through the capital build-up (CBU) scheme that SEDP extends to its members. She withdrew Twenty Thousand Pesos (PhP20,000) from her CBU in September 2015 to fund the review for the CPA board exam of her daughter, Krizza who went on to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). “My daughter’s accomplishment in education and career makes me a very proud mother. SEDP helped to bring pride to me and my family,” adds Vicenta.
What keeps Vicenta busy these days is the plan to establish a bakery and to expand the piggery. When asked about taking time for vacation, Vicenta remarked: “Why stop when there are many opportunities ready for the taking? There is so much to do and accomplish. Vacation can wait.”