Almost everyone has heard of the 12 Days of Christmas, or at least the song portraying someone’s true love giving them some seemingly impractical gifts corresponding to each of the 12 days following Christmas. However, what many people don’t know is how expensive giving the 12 gifts from the song actually is.
Each year, PNC puts out its Christmas Price Index, in which it details the cost of each of the 12 gifts in the song. This year, the total cost of one set of all the gifts listed in the song would cost $38,993.59 USD. And if buying each of the gifts mentioned in the repetition of the song, the cumulative cost of all 364 gifts comes to a grand total of $170,298.03 USD.
Obviously, this type of extravagance is one that only few can afford and one that even fewer would actually want. For this reason, FINCA was inspired to create a new list for the 12 Days of Christmas. Except in our list, we highlight 12 different practical and savvy business ideas that our clients from around the world were able to pursue through FINCA loans.
We hope that you enjoy reading FINCA’s 12 Days of Christmas and that the ingenuity and perseverance of the entrepreneurs and small business owners you read about inspires you this holiday season.
A baker in Kyrgyzstan buy a new oven. This is what FINCA client Saykal Smadiyarova used her first $100 loan for in order to meet the rising demand for her bread. Her business has since grown from a small in-home operation to the full-fledged bakery with 15 employees she runs today.
A seamstress in Ecuador buy the fabric and materials needed to start a sewing business. This is how Elsa Maria Correa Correa began her now flourishing sewing business, which she has expanded to include 5 sewing machines and a workshop for the other seamstresses she employs.
A restaurant owner in Pakistan to invest in and expand his business. Muhammad Yaseen did just that with his FINCA loan. His restaurant has since grown enough for him to hire two employees, which has made him proud to create jobs in his community.
A single mother in Uganda to grow her hair-styling business, just like Businge Hope Lydia. She now runs a hair salon that employs two other workers, and she continues to work with FINCA as she continues to invest in her business.
A vegetable farmer in Haiti buy seeds in bulk at the beginning of the growing season. August Jean Soliny used his first FINCA loan to do just that, and he planted okra, corn and tomatoes that season. He now sells an abundance of vegetables and has used his profits to invest in purchasing livestock to expand his farm and earnings.
An entrepreneurial woman in Guatemala purchase a grinding machine to start her own flour mill. Rosa Us Zacarias decided to open her own flour mill after noticing a need by other families in her town. Now, her neighbors form long lines at her mill every day to grind their flour and corn before mealtimes.
A seamstress in Jordan, like Suha, buy a sewing machine to start an embroidery business. Suha began by selling embroidered clothing to her neighbors, but her quality reputation enabled her to grow her customer-base, and she now takes orders from schools for embroidered uniforms.
A single mother in Uganda purchase a plot of land to start a school. This is what Betty Nakintu did with her first FINCA loan of $800. As a teacher, she saw a need for a school in her own community, and she has since grown from teaching 28 students in its first year to managing a school of 750 kids and 46 employees ten years later.
A grocery store owner in Honduras purchase more inventory to expand his business. Francisco Corrales used his first FINCA loan to do just that, and his increased profits have enabled him to fund his children’s educations. One is now an attorney and the other two are in school studying systems engineering and medicine.
A seamstress in Guatemala open a home goods store. Seeing a need in her community, Marcelina Concepión Vasquez used her first $1000 FINCA loan to construct a small general store out of her home. Now, her neighbors no longer have to travel long distances to buy basic grocery and household necessities.
The owner of a wholesale business in Tanzania invest to expand his business. Selling food and beverages to grocers, restaurants and vendors throughout the region, Anselim Massawe not only expanded his business, but also benefited from the convenience of FINCA express locations throughout the area.
An entrepreneur in Kosovo expand her vegetable processing and conserving business. Xheva Haziri used her FINCA loan to do just that, expanding to include additional fruits and vegetables in her cultivation. She has since expanded her thriving business to export processed goods to overseas markets.
*For the purposes of this article, local currencies were converted to USD and rounded to an even hundred.