Teresa moved to the United States from Ecuador in 1999 with her family. In Ecuador she received her degree in Business Administration and practiced in the field for 25 years. When she moved to the United States, she didn’t speak English very well, so she wasn’t able to get a job in her field. In 1999, just months after moving to Boston, she started her own day care.
Starting her own business has allowed Teresa to provide an additional income for her family. She enjoys working with the children and owning her own business. The income generated from her day care also allowed her family to purchase the house in which they are living.
Teresa’s greatest challenge is the summer months. Between June and August many families take their children out of the day care for vacation and summer camps. During these months, Teresa has a hard time maintaining her cash flow and paying her three employees. Another challenge has been that many parents took their children out of day care during the economic crisis. Many decided to take care of their children at home instead of paying for her services.
This is Teresa’s 2nd loan with ACCION USA, with which she’ll be better able to maintain her business and pay employees during the summer months. She hopes to be better prepared for low attendance next summer, so that she doesn’t run into this problem again. She knows that come September she will be back up to capacity in her day care. Teresa’s day care is well known in the greater Boston area and she receives many new clients through referrals.
About U.S. Microfinance and ACCION USA
Have you ever thought about how the cute new café on your corner or the salon you frequent every month got the financial resources to start their business? Chances are, they drummed up support from their friends and family, dipped into their personal savings, used a high-interest credit card, or all of the above. An estimated ten million small businesses in the U.S. face difficulty obtaining loans from traditional banks, even prior to the current “credit crisis”. Microfinance institutions, like ACCION USA, support these “unbanked” small businesses by giving them access to fairly-priced capital and business education.
Small businesses also help stabilize low- to moderate-income neighborhoods and rebuild the economy through income growth and job creation. Self-employment provides workers with a way to increase their incomes, support their families, and strengthen their communities. As unemployment rises in the U.S., more and more people are turning to self-employment and start-up enterprises as a way to take control of their economic futures and provide employment opportunities in their communities. The need for support of small businesses in the U.S. is great, and it is one that ACCION USA has been striving to meet since 1991.