Daniel R. had a carnicería (a meat market and grocery store) in Juarez for 20 years. A few years ago, he had to close it down and move out of the city because it wasn’t safe there anymore. Now, he wants to open a new carnicería in El Paso, where he currently lives. “It started as a dream two years ago…I created a six year plan then. The Small Business Administration helped orient me on how to build a business here. And now I can start my business with ACCION’s support.” His business is opening on January 14th. Daniel calls it an American dream.
Daniel is only 40 some years old, but says, “Some people think that an elderly person can’t improve their life; they’ve already reached their capacity. But I don’t believe that. If you have your health, you still can grow… It’s never too late to pursue what you want in life.” His goal is to grow his business earnings to $300,000 a year and for his business to be well known in the area. If things go well, he’d like to open another store. Daniel sees a need for carnicerías like his – and a lot of competition. “Here in El Paso, 80% are Hispanic. We have to support the needs of people of my race, who are Mexican… People are leaving Juarez for El Paso… There are many business people, small and large, who are coming here with Mexican brands.”
Daniel is using this loan to buy store inventory like meats, fruit, vegetables, soap and things to clean clothes with – all the necessities. Daniel is reserving some of the loan as backup in case something happens. “Every business starts at zero. You have to have some reserves to start off with. The first 5-6 months is a process of building up credit…and saving money.” Daniel says this is the reason for his loan: “This money - is so I have that support, so I have that money to start off with. I would have started in any case, but I’d have less security. With this loan, I am less worried.”
Daniel plans to employ one person part-time. He also supports himself and the youngest of his three sons, who is still an adolescent. Daniel gives the advice that “everything that you do and all the dreams you have in your life; you have to fight for them. A dream becomes a plan becomes a reality. You can achieve what you want, but you have to be very persistent… This country is a country of many opportunities, and I’ve learned that firsthand. There are people that want to help you, but you have to go knock on doors to find them.”
For more information, you can contact Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.