After a troubled youth, Erivan dos Santos realized one day that he needed to change his life. He took a low-paying job in construction and met a woman who would become his wife. A year later they had a baby boy, but as luck would have it, he was born with serious health issues. It was then that Erivan decided he would turn to self employment to stay afloat, and so his brother taught him how to repair bicycles and gave him a few tools and equipment to help him start a bicycle shop. “My life changed since we opened this store,” he says, looking around his small shop situated just outside of his father’s house, where he and his family also live.
“The beginning was difficult,” he says. “Sometimes we did not have enough money to buy food, and I struggled to get much needed capital. Since I couldn’t ask my father for more, I was glad to hear that Accion Microfinanças helped entrepreneurs like me. ”
Since receiving an initial loan of U.S. $800 from Accion’s partner in Brazil, Erivan has been able to buy supplies and merchandise in bulk, helping him to service clients faster and make larger profits. Today, he is proud and thankful that both his business and family are thriving.
If you look closely at the front of his store, you’ll see the phrase, “Os que com lágrimas semeiam com júbilo ceifarão.—SL: 126.5.” (Those who sow in tears shall harvest joy.) And while most of his tears are hopefully in the past, with the help of Accion, Erivan has most definitely been able to harvest joy and sow a successful future for his family.