This is Merlinda. She is 45 years old and a resident of Manila, Philippines. She is married to Rosendo, her business partner, and a mother to her two children. Together with her husband, she manages the household while operating the business. At this time, she is working hard to continually provide income for her everyday expenses.
Merlinda operates a variety store. In the Philippines, a variety store is basically a small convenience store, which sells groceries, toiletries and beverages in small quantities to residents of the local neighborhood. It is the place to go to buy one sachet of shampoo, 5 PHP-worth of cooking oil or an egg. She earns money by acquiring supplies at wholesale prices and selling them by the piece. Her store is located adjacent to her house. Her regular customers are her neighbors and members of the local community. She earns a minimum of 500 Philippine Pesos (PHP) in sales every day.
To help her continue operating her business, she is requesting a loan of 16,000 PHP. She will use this loan to buy groceries, toiletries and beverages to expand her product inventory. She expects an increase in her business income as she expands her business.
Merlinda hopes to be able to expand soon, just as she dreams to be able to give her family a good future through all her hard work on her business. She faithfully meets with her co-fellowship* members to share stories of her work every week and draw strength and inspiration from the Word of God she studies.
* All CCT community partners and/or clients are organized into fellowship groups that meet on a weekly basis. A fellowship group is composed of 15 to 30 community partners. The fellowship groups gather each week to study the Word of God, build social capital and repay micro finance loans.
About the Center for Community Transformation
The Center for Community Transformation (CCT) is dedicated to the development of communities and lives via spiritual transformation and access to financial services. CCT offers loan products to address the needs of micro-entrepreneurs in the Philippines. The organization’s loan products include small business, education, and housing loans. CCT utilizes a community-based approach to provide a variety of non-financial services that include training and development programs, clinics, disaster relief operations, a low-cost medicine program, and social service programs. CCT offers a unique “Pavement Dweller” program designed to provide food, housing, and job training. CCT also provides education support services to the poorest groups in the Philippines. Find more information about CCT on their website or join their lending team.