STAYING IN BUSINESS BY BEING A BLESSINGPosted by CQSalazar on Jun 22, 2012 in Feature Stories | 0 comments
Nanay Judy Simbulas started her own small junkshop business within the family’s backyard in 2003. The decision was prompted by the closure of her neighbor’s junkshop, which is a source of livelihood and income for most of the people in the community. With a starting capital of P500, borrowed from a neighbor, she started buying the scrap materials of the young boys in their barangay, who used to sell in the closed junkshop. The couple only borrowed a weighing scale from another neighbor during that time. Her very first loan from TSPI in 2003 worth P5,000, allowed her to buy several bicycles with a side car, a weighing scale, a welding machine and a bascule (a device working on the principle of the seesaw, so that when one end is raised the other end is lowered) to support the business.
From the time Nanay Judy was nominated and shortlisted in the Citi Micro-entrepreneur of the Year Awards in the Masikap category in 2008, her business and assets have grown significantly. Although the enterprise was adversely affected by the melamine scare in 2009, which contributed to the decrease in the value of scrap materials, the nominee and her husband were able to rebuild the business. “Naubos ang tao ko noong 2009, isa na lang ang natira. Yung iba naglipatan sa ibang junk shop at yung iba pumasok sa ibang trabaho. Laking pasasalamat ko at nakabangon muli kami (Only one employee was left in 2009. Others transferred to other junkshops, the rest looked for another job. I am really grateful that we were able to rebuild the business).”
Despite the difficulties that Nanay Judy encountered in her business back in 2009, she remained faithful in fulfilling her duties and in meeting her commitment to TSPI and her community. Although she had skipped a cycle in her membership in TSPI back in 2009, she remained committed to the program. She is currently on her fifth loan cycle, with a loan amount of P30,000 (based on TSPI’s existing policies, a client that decides to return to TSPI’s TKP program after withdrawing will be treated as a first time borrower, treated as a first loan cycle.)
As a member of TSPI, Nanay Judy claims that she became more community-oriented as it provides her greater opportunity to be of help to others.
She is grateful to TSPI, because of the trust it has given her, despite the difficulties encountered. Nanay Judy claims that before joining TSPI, the largest amount of money she handled was P2,000 and never imagined herself to be a steward of more than P1 million.
Her loan from TSPI enabled her to have their family home renovated – from bamboo-based to a house made of concrete material. Her business also enabled her to purchase house appliances such as a television set, washing machine and refrigerator, among others. She further claims that her children would always tell her “Mama, dati hindi natin nabibili yung mga gusto natin, ngayon nakakabili na tayo (Mom, before it was difficult for us to buy the things we want, but now we can already buy them).”
Her nomination to the Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2008 also gave Nanay Judy the opportunity to join Bayan Academy’s “Entrep-Eskwela”, a rigorous training program sponsored by Citi and ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation. “Dati makaraos lang kami, ayos na ako. Pero pagkatapos naming sumali sa Entrep-Eskwela, nagkaroon ako ng hangarin na palaguin pa ang negosyo ko. Natutunan kong tutukan at i-monitor ang negosyo. Dati kasi hindi ako ganun ka-seryoso. Naging mas maayos din ang pakitungo ko sa mga tao ko pagkatapos noon (Before, I was already content with just meeting our family’s daily needs. But after joining Entrep-Eskwela, I developed a desire to further grow my business. I also learned how to monitor my business because I wasn’t that serious in managing my business before. My relationship with my employees has also improved as a result of the things that I learned from it).”
Today, Nanay Judy’s scrap business is able to employ 32 individuals coming from her community. This was her vision when she began her business. She also has plans to put-up two additional businesses, i.e. rag-making and furniture manufacturing, which she hopes would help more people in their community, particularly unemployed mothers and out-of school youth. “Ang sabi ko sa asawa ko, kahit makakumpuni lang kami ng piyesa para sa makinang pantahi, malaking tulong na din yun sa mga nanay na walang trabaho dito sa atin. Gusto ko ding magtayo ng furniture business para makatulong sa mga kabataan dito na hindi nag-aaral at walang pinagkakakitaan. Plano kong ilagay yung furniture business doon sa kalahati ng loteng nabili ko (I told my husband that if we could assemble at least five sewing machines, we could already start bringing in unemployed mothers in our community. I also want to put up a furniture business to help out-of-school youth. I plan to put the furniture business in the half portion of the lot that I purchased).”
With Nanay Judy’s kindness and genuine concern for her community members, determination and hard work, it will not be long before she, her family and perhaps even her community uplifts themselves from poverty and realizes their dream of a better and fuller life.
This article was originally written by Ms. Aby Carlos-Ruiz, Training Officer of Discipleship and Training, for the 2011 Citi Micro-entrepreneur of the Year Awards.