Brenda Maly Tebalan knows it is not easy being a single mother. Throughout her life, she has worked hard for her four daughters.
In the past, Brenda worked in a clothing factory, working long hours with little time to see her children. She used some of her salary to place her daughters in day care but worried about their safety.
“I was on my knees begging to God, please let me have a business to take care of my four princesses.”
Thirteen years ago, Brenda’s wishes were answered. She started Variedade Brenda, a small clothing store on the busy streets of Boca Del Monte, Guatemala. The store is packed with racks of children and women’s clothing, from t-shirts to jeans to socks and lingerie. Brenda also sources fine clothing from Mexico for interested clients and sells shoes via a catalog.
After a few years into the business, Brenda came across a flyer describing FINCA’s Village Bank services, which enable a group of small business owners to take out loans. Needing the extra funds to update her clothing inventory throughout the year, Brenda decided to start her own group, Casa de Dios (God’s home), with other catalog and clothing sellers.
With every loan cycle, Brenda has been able to update her store with new inventory. Her most recent loan of 6,500 quetzal (USD 845) has helped to add new clothing, racks and hangers for her growing store.
Brenda invests most of her profit for her four princesses, including their school fees. Most importantly, she has gained a sense of security as she has been able to take her children out of day care and watch them after school closes. The eldest daughters help out in the store too, and were integral to help keep the business running when Brenda was seriously ill for three months, a year ago.
“God put FINCA in my life and my life has changed,” she says. “Now, I can raise more money for my four daughters.”