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Shanti’s life has always been determined by the seasons.

When she was a farm laborer, the monsoon rains, summer heat, and harvests dictated her days laboring in the fields.

Now, thanks to loans from Sonata, Shanti is the owner of a small general store and in tune with an entirely new schedule of seasons. Before the start of the school year, she stocks pencils, pens, and paper on her shop’s shelves, and before each festival, she stocks goods for that particular celebration.

Seven years after first being introduced to Sonata, the loan program continues to help her move from poverty to security by financing the continued expansion of her inventory and her dreams.

Next on her to-do list: bring her husband back from Mumbai where he is working as a chef. Together, they plan to open up a sweets shop in the village, stocked by his sticky handmade creations.

In its first two years, Sonata Finance has reached out to more than 23,000 women like Shanti who are short on cash but flush with plans for a better future.

Expanding the store and supporting her husband’s business will help them achieve even more ambitious goals: to improve their house and save enough money pay for their son to attend University.

“I want my son to get an education, so he can find a stable job—it should not be in the village. A job somewhere in the city,” said Shanti, “I want to get my house in a better shape and invest in my son’s education. I don’t need to buy anything for myself.”