Ofelia immigrated to the United States in late 2009, moving into her son’s home in New Orleans. Having worked all her life in Honduras, she was quick to start her career as a Mary Kay sales consultant in 2010.
Ofelia applied for her first loan with Accion Texas Inc. in May 2012 and was approved for a $500 credit start loan. Six months later, her credit score increased into almost the mid-600s, when she applied for a second loan. She received her second loan of $2,500 to purchase inventory for the peak season months of November and December.
In May 2013, Ofelia applied for her third loan with Accion. She requested $7,000, and thanks to the creation of the Latino Emerging Loan Fund, she was able to qualify - with limited collateral - to purchase more inventory. Her goal is to become a Mary Kay sales director and she expects to do so within the next year.
Mary Kay offers Ofelia the opportunity to advance professionally. But without the Accion loan, purchasing the inventory needed to make sales would have been much more challenging.
A friend who was a previous Accion client told her about the non-profit microlender, so she applied. The Accion lending team helped her understand the application and underwriting process at every turn and she was approved for a loan. “It was great working with Accion,” she says.
Ofelia is a great example of an exemplary Accion borrower. She attends monthly one-on-one sessions with her business adviser, and is currently working to graduate from a hand-written bookkeeping system to an automated Microsoft Excel program.
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.