Nanay Maria used to sell eggs and rice cakes by the side of the road near her village in the Philippines. She knew there was a market for additional items, but didn’t have the extra money she needed to expand her business. Then Nanay Maria joined CARD Bank, a microfinance institution and Grameen Foundation partner in the Philippines. With an initial loan of 3,000 pesos (about $73) and her small savings, Nanay Maria began selling another local delicacy – sweetened bananas on a stick at her stand.
Nanay Maria’s business sense was right on- the bananas were a hit. She continued to grow her business and built a strong repayment history with several small loans from CARD Bank. Eventually, Nanay Maria was able to get a loan of 50,000 pesos (about $1,215) to open a restaurant next to the main highway.
Today, Nanay Maria serves hundreds of daily customers at her restaurant and employs 24 people. She has done more than create a better life for her family; she has helped more than two dozen other families earn a living and build a better life as well. Nanay Maria’s hard work earned her the inaugural Galing ni Nanay award (which, loosely translated, means “Mom’s outstanding or impressive skills”) from CARD Bank. The award recognizes clients who successfully grow their business and contribute to their community’s development.