In their early years of marriage Leonora (Nora) Tampos and her husband, Francisco, learned the art of rope-making. Nora and Francisco saved for and bought a rope-maker, or “fly wheel,” as they call it. They started making their own ropes and traded and sold them at nearby fishing markets.
They also started a family, which grew quickly.
Business went well for the Tampos family until, years later, challenges arose. Francisco was injured in a carpentry accident that left him unable to work. Without Francisco’s contributions, business income dropped. Soon afterwards, Nora’s son-in-law committed suicide. This unavoidably affected their operation and funding. On top of all that, many customers were behind in payments. Due to lack of capital and manpower, Nora found herself unable to service her regular customers properly. Orders and customers declined. The family business was in trouble.
During this tumultuous time a friend introduced Nora to Mentors Philippines.
Nora used her first loan from Mentors to purchase rope-making materials. She repaid her loan on time within eight months. She also was able to save an additional $60 and attend five business training sessions. Her daily income of $6 improved to $9 during this time. With more orders from new and returning customers, Nora requested a second loan. She repaid the loan on time―within nine months―and put $72 into savings.
Nora’s daily income continued to rise. She began earning $11 per day. She was granted her third loan and used the capital to build a store in a nearby town where demand for rope was great. She asked her widowed daughter to run this second store. Together, Nora and her daughter completed seven training sessions, as required by Mentors.
Their business was on the path to success when tragedy again struck. Nora’s son and grandson both fell seriously ill. Medical costs consumed the Tampos’ existing capital.
Afraid that her record with Mentors would be stained, Nora requested a restructuring of her account. She proved her integrity by repaying that restructured loan within nine months. Nora was then ready for her fourth loan, which she promptly repaid in seven months. Her latest loan, granted in August 2009, was planned for another store that is now operated by her son.
To date, Nora has been able to increase her savings and attends business trainings on a regular basis. Principles she has learned at the trainings, such as giving her business a “name” and making monthly contributions to “micro” hospitalization insurance, have helped her business. She regularly employs five other individuals and hopes to hire more in the future.
Nora’s journey has not been easy, but she is determined to maintain her family’s self-sufficiency.