When Helen Ruth Chamorro took out her first loan from WCCN’s Loan Fund partner León 2000 nine years ago, she was working as a hairstylist making house calls to her clients. Although she says she made ends meet, Helen knew that if she wanted to provide her children with the kind of opportunities she never had, she needed her own salon. With a salon, she could market her skills beyond her close network of friends and family.
Armed with a $50 loan from León 2000, Helen set her dream in motion. She used her first loan to expand the products she used when styling her client’s hair. Over the years, she was able to establish her own salon. The momentum Helen’s business generated led her to relocate to a larger facility and employ two additional stylists.
While proudly speaking about the success of her business, Helen notes that her children were always the motivating force behind her hard work. They are now beginning to see the fruits of her labor. When she started her business, Helen and her children were living with several other families in a small home. With her business earnings, Helen has been able to buy a home for her family.
Meanwhile, her son and daughter are pursuing their post-secondary educations in computer engineering and tourism studies, respectively.
Helen’s story, like so many others, is at testimony to the power of microcredit. Given the opportunity,she was able to put her skills to work, while developing into a savvy businesswoman along the way.
She proves that loans as small as $50 can truly pave a pathway out of poverty.