Anthonise Jean-Michel wants nothing more than to be able to provide a good life for her 5- year-old son, so that he will be able to create a promising future of his own one day. Unfortunately, her former position as a kindergarten teacher did not allow her to do this.
“It was difficult to get paid,” she said. So she decided to take a risk and start her own business – selling soft drinks and cosmetics. Before becoming a Fonkoze Solidarity client, though, Anthonise’s business was not doing well enough to cover all of their living costs. She had to supplement what she was making by selling a variety of goods at the local market.
Anthonise faced two issues with her soft drinks/cosmetic business: lack of space and limited funds to grow her inventory. She was using her home as a storefront and a place to house her inventory of products. With barely enough living space for her and her son, this made it quite difficult for her to run a business efficiently. She held on to the hope that someday she would be able to rent a small commercial space. Today, Anthonise and her son are living a better life. With the financial services she has access to as a Fonkoze Solidarity (Fonkoze’s core micro-lending program) client, she is being empowered to do more than hope. Her first loan of $230 (15,000 HTG), enabled her to increase her inventory. Gradually, as her business grew, she was able to take out larger amounts to meet supply and demand.
Currently, Anthonise’s loan size is $500 (32,500 HTG) which has not only allowed her to buy in bulk quantities to resell at a better profit margin, but it has also enabled her to finally rent a retail space close to her home. She says, “I’ve been given the opportunity to go as far as my courage can take me.”