Three Tips from Entrepreneurs Who Started From Nothing
Zulma always brings her products with her… she never knows when she might find a new customer!
Launching a business can be intimidating, but it is worth the risk if you wish to see your vision become reality. These three women from three different regions of Honduras fought with courage, hard work, discipline, and a united goal to create a business from scratch. They all started with nothing but a dream. With a small loan from Adelante Foundation and social and educational supports, they have transformed into thriving, confident entrepreneurs. Here’s just a glimpse of the lessons they have taught us:
1. Find what you love to do that people demand.
“I am here cooking late into the night. It’s tiring but I love it, and now I can provide for everyone.”- Dilicia, Barbeque Business Owner, Choluteca, Honduras A mother of nine, Dilicia began with Adelante two years ago, when her husband became ill and could no longer support the family. She started with a loan of $113 to sell candies and snacks out in the open along the highway. Yet, Dilicia wasn’t satisfied. Her true passion was cooking, and she knew that there was demand for hearty meals for travelers. With her new earnings and an investment plan from Adelante, she bought her first order of meat and set out on her new mission. Dilicia’s love for cooking manifested in her barbeque, and she soon had customers stopping regularly. Now she sells meat, cabbage, sodas, tacos, enchiladas, and fried plantains. With her most recent loan of $272 she built a wooden stand- now she no longer needs to sell her products in the open air.
2. A network of support makes you and your business stronger.
“I never knew so many things about how to manage my money. The support makes me feel stronger, because I didn’t think I could do this before.”- Beatrice, Jewelry and Jeans Vendor, El Progreso, Honduras Beatrice is grateful for the social support she has received through Adelante, as well as the business administration skills imparted through our education program. After separating from her husband 20 years ago, Beatrice left for the US in search of a means to send money back to her children to ensure their education, something she was unable to obtain. When she heard that her oldest son had been in an accident, she returned immediately to care for him. Beatrice knew she needed to find opportunity and support in Honduras. She discovered Adelante and a new network of support, leveraging this opportunity to bring economic stability to her family. She has learned to master her personal and business finances, and uses this knowledge to inspire new Adelante members. Today, Beatrice is proud to have achieved her dream: to see her three children become university educated. She shows other women that with encouragement and hard work, they too can succeed.
3. Always stay positive, even when times get tough.
“It has not always been easy, but you keep smiling. Positivity helps us to help others now that we have found security and support.” – Zulma, Medicine and Bath Products Seller, Tocoa, Honduras Zulma has been with Adelante now for over ten years. When she began with her first loan of $91, she searched for a business that would be stable. She had had a few small businesses beforehand, but was unable to maintain them due to lack of funding and proper investment. As a mother of six, it was crucial for Zulma to maintain a reliable income. Though at first she struggled to sell a lotions and perfumes, Zulma never let this get her down. She was great with her customers, and she used her optimistic spirit to move forward. With her next loan and teachings from the educational lessons, she experimented by adding other products to her repertoire. Now she has found the products her clients demand, selling cosmetics, lotions, natural medicines, toothpaste, and other household needs. She serves over 50 clients, and is willing to order anything they need, always with a smile.
Thank you to these amazing women and all of our Adelante entrepreneurs for their dedication, inspiration, and motivation- keep moving communities across Honduras forward!