In 2006, Nanay Vivian A. Valenzuela observed her grocery store was not productively earning. She and her husband Tatay Nilo then decided to shift into a more productive and higher-income-generating business. They observed how Tatay Nilo’s relatives ran a junkshop and scrap business in their community. Nanay Vivian also went to Manila to find brokers and agents who are willing to buy their scraps before the couple decided to pursue the junk shop business.
She joined TSPI in 2007 and is currently on her 10th loan cycle. Aside from her general loan used for her enterprise, Nanay Vivian also availed of the Multi-purpose and TSPI Social Housing Loan. These loans are only given to clients who have shown excellent performance in the organization.
Nanay Vivian is full of gratitude for TSPI and the loans she was able to avail through the organization. “Malaking tulong sa amin ang TSPI, ang perang pinahiram sa akin ay ginagamit ko ng mabuti upang mapalago at maidagdag sa aming puhunan. Dahil doon, makakapag-bid kami sa mga nagbebenta ng scrap sa mga factories na malapit sa amin dahil may malaking pera kaming hinahawakan. Binibili din namin ang mga scrap materials ng maliliit na junkshops at kami na ang direktang nagbebenta at nagdedeliver sa Laguna. Napapa-aral ko ng mabuti ang aming apat na anak at nabibigyan ng sapat ang mga kailangan nila. Sa TSPI ko din napaayos ang aming bahay dahil sa Housing and Sanitation Loan Program. Patuloy po akong magsusumikap upang maging mabuting kliyente ng TSPI at pinagmamalaki ko po na maging isa sa mga miyembro nila (TSPI was a great help to us, the money we borrowed was spent wisely to grow and add to our investment. Because we have enough money, we are able to bid for buying scrap materials to factories within our area. We also bought the scrap materials of small junkshops and we are selling and delivering directly to Laguna. We are able to send our 4 children to school and provide them their needs. With TSPI, we were able to renovate our house through their Housing and Sanitation Loan Program. I constantly strive to be a good TSPI client. I’m proud to be one of their clients).”
Both husband and wife share their tasks equally in managing the business. Tatay Nilo finds sources of recyclable materials, acts as a go-between with potential buyers and manages the daily operations of the shop. Nanay Vivian, on the other hand, takes care of the cash flow and checking of scrap materials. She learned the complexity of the junk shop business through her brother- in-law who is also a junk shop owner.
Her family-run business buys recyclable materials from the local community and consolidates these for re-selling to larger operators and also contributes to the generation of employment in the community. She hires “istambay” (by-standers) in their community to help her in running their business. “Ang mga kinukuha kong trabahador ay yung mga istambay dyan sa kanto, na imbes na magkalat sila at manggulo, maghanap na lang sila ng basura para may makain at makakatulong pa sila sa mga pamilya nila (I prefer to hire by-standers within our community, instead of loitering and creating chaos, they will find scrap materials to buy food and help their families.)”
Nanay Vivian says that her involvement in the junk shop business empowers her because she plays a major role in its sustainability and profitability. She is also confident because she has the capacity to make decisions in the business. Based on her knowledge and experience in the junk shop business, she says that developing and having confidence means having a personal vision and believing in one’s self. She also encourages her co -TSPI members and women in their community to dream big and be a good example to others.
This article was originally written by Aby Carlos-Ruiz, Training Officer, Discipleship and Training Department, for the Citi Micro-entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2011.