Twelve years ago Marcia Taco of Quito, Ecuador and her husband Galo were unemployed and raising two children. Marcia planned to start a business with her sewing skills – but her idea depended on borrowing the money to buy basic tools and supplies. Unfortunately, without an income, credit history or collateral, she got turned down by every bank she visited.
Accion’s Ecuadorian partner Credife was the exception. Marcia only needed U.S.$100 for a used sewing machine, so she applied for a small loan – and Credife trusted her with it. Over the next nine years, Marcia and Galo continued to borrow from Credife to strengthen their business with working capital for supplies in bulk, new sewing machines to meet the increasing demand from customers across the country and the expansion of their workshop area to accommodate their growing team.
Today, the couple has built a four-story building with an entire floor dedicated to garment-making, which Marcia runs with her sister Janeth. They have more than two dozen sewing machines and 20 employees – all built on hard work and Credife’s willingness to take a chance on her. Work, Marcia says, is to her what parents are to a child – it provides everything: food, shelter, safety and security.
But for Marcia, the realization of this dream isn’t just personal. She is very conscious of, and glad for, what this company means for her community: “This work has allowed me to support my family and give jobs to many people who need them, so that they can in turn provide for their own families.”
For us, Marcia embodies success. She is an impressive and powerful example of what microfinance can do not only for a family but for their entire community.