53 years old and a widow for four years now, Irma lives in Rosario, Cavite with her 17-year old son.
Formerly working as a quality controller in a garments factory in the Cavite Apparel Export Processing Zone, Irma began venturing into business in 1990. She would then sell pork meat to her co-workers and was able to earn an extra PhP 5,000 per month. Seeing the potentials of this business, Irma resigned from work in 1996 and decided to do full time business.
In 1997, she had the opportunity to rent a stall in a flea market where she sells meat. In 2013, she availed a loan from SEED amounting to PhP 10,000 and was able to add up fruits and vegetables in her inventory. From then on, her business grew and she is now generating PhP 12,000 average sales in a day. Irma also employed a neighbor as helper in her stall, thereby creating income opportunity also for other underprivileged individuals in her community. Apart from the growth in this line of business, Irma was also able to invest in room rentals where today she has already 20 rooms for rent generating at least PhP 30,000 per month.
Recently, Irma was able to acquire another stall for her business expansion. At this point, Irma is in need of financing to purchase stocks of meat, fruit, vegetable and grocery items for the new stall. She also plans to hire out another helper from her community.
SEED, founded in 2004, is a microfinance organization in the Philippines that operates in the metro Manila area.
In addition to loans, SEED provides saving services, business development classes and skills trainings. About 90% of SEED’s active borrowers are underprivileged poor living in depressed, urban areas.