Joaquim owns a garment business in Mozambique, and it’s a family affair. “I started the business myself,” he says. “I then got married, which was nice because my wife was also in this kind of work, making clothes. So we put our hands together and started working together. My son is at school, studying things that relate to the business.” The feeling extends to his staff; as he puts it: “The people working here are not employees. I consider them family, because we’re all helping each other.”
Back when Accion portfolio partner Socremo Bank was getting established in Joaquim’s area, he wasn’t sure he needed a loan. “I found Socremo because they were going around looking for people to make business with. They came three times, but I wasn’t interested. Then they sent me an invitation to come to their branch and explained who they were, so I got a loan and started working with them,” he says. Now, he’s glad he did. “I think they are a great bank, and I know I am only where I am now because of Socremo. The bank made a huge difference for me, my family, and the community,” he says.
Joaquim is looking forward to continuing to grow his business, which again he puts in terms of relationships. As he says, “This business is part of my family, so if I make it bigger, my family will also grow.”