Launch A Business
Paper mache materials
Grameen Foundation USA
More than one billion people are condemned to live on less than $1 per day. Such a crisis demands tangible solutions, and when put into practice on a wide scale, microfinance can help the poor escape poverty.
With $98, a woman can start a paper maché business and find the strength to recover from a personal tragedy. Merlyn Francisco was always an industrious woman, becoming a successful fish vendor early in her marriage, but it wasn’t until her husband was diagnosed with cancer that she faced severe financial difficulties. He needed chemotherapy and after a prolonged battle with his disease, he passed away, leaving her with a pile of medical bills and no health insurance. Suddenly alone and believing there was no way out of her financial disaster, Merlyn was pushed into bankruptcy and fell into a deep depression for two years. However, her determined nature prevailed, and after hearing about microfinance and a local microfinance institution called CARD, she eventually was able to take out a loan of PhP 5,000 (US $98). She contacted her old buyers and exporters and started a new paper maché business. She now has a reputation as a reliable, trustworthy vendor. Microfinance allowed Merlyn's indestructible spirit to reach new heights.