MRS LUCIA RICO SUCCESS STORY
Growing up with her two siblings in the town of Trento in the rural province of Agusan del Sur in the south of the Philippines, Mrs. Lucia always dreamt of running her own business. She started her business with a tiny stall to sell her handmade baskets and figures made from rattan palms. After struggling with bankruptcy in 2015, she moved her business and began to look for capital. This was only the start of a long and hard journey for this microentrepreneur to fulfill her dreams and be independent.
In 2016 One Puhunan opened in her municipality. She managed to secure her first loan with a financial institution, a loan of six thousand pesos (~USD 300).
She successfully continued the loan cycles and gradually grew her business until 2020, when the pandemic crippled the economy. Travelers no longer came to buy her products, nor could she deliver her products to other places. She had to close her business as the entire country shut down under the Community Quarantine. Covid restrictions were finally lifted in May 2020 and Lucia was able to reopen her business.
Just as her store, the whole economy of the Philippines was strongly affected through COVID-19. The Worldbank projects a shrinking of the economy by 8.1% in comparison to 2019.
However, Mrs. Lucia persevered and with One Puhunan, she had a strong partner by her side, who supported her even when she was struggling to repay her loans on time.
Luckily, regardless of her struggle, she managed to find a big seller for her products in another area which she has been supplying ever since. She was able recover her business and continue securing loans from One Puhunan. She is now on the 10th cycle of her loan amounting to 50,000 pesos (~ USD 1,000). With this High Ticket Loan (HTL) she can finance her business and grow even further.
Her business, which started as a tiny stall with only few products, has now evolved into a big stall fully stocked with handmade rattan products. She supplies and distributes her basket products to other regions twice a week, earning a steady income of 111,000 pesos (~ USD 2,300) per month. This income is now five-times the average monthly income of a family in the Philippines.
With her business success, Lucia did well not only for herself and her family, but also for the Trento Branch of One Puhunan and the entire Credit Access Philippines Financing Company. A very nice example where hard work and support during difficult times created more value for everyone.