Where There’s Water, There’s a Way

Grameen Foundation’s work with CARD Bank gave Remedios and her family the support they needed to build a successful businesss.

The Oquindo family used to run a beachfront store, selling fishing traps and other supplies, but the increased competition had started to put them out of business. Remedios Peralta Oquindo was already a client of CARD Bank, the leading provider of microfinance services in the Philippines. This gave her family immediate access to the money the needed to try something new. She used her next loan and the proceeds from selling the old store to switch to a completely new business: a water filling station.

“There was no business like that nearby,” she said. “But the first six months were a struggle, because it took time to introduce our water to customers and show them that the source was really good.”

Since opening the Queen Remelyn “Hill Spring” Water Refilling Station in 2009, the entire Oquindo family has worked hard to make it a success, whether it’s pumping water from the well or delivering samples door to door to potential new customers.

“My husband attended a seminar on how to operate our machine,” Remedios explained. “Our children help us in clean the container and with deliveries, and my siblings help clean and deliver containers. I am the container refiller and container sealer. “

Today, they employ 3 people and earn a profit of about $3,000 each year.

She hopes to continue growing the business, delivering to a wider range of customers across the region and possibly adding a completely different kind of enterprise once her son finishes his studies. With good customer service and careful budgeting and hard work, she said, you can succeed in any business.

“You should try to give what your customers requested so they will never stop patronizing your products, and you must have the will to pursue your business,” she advises other entrepreneurs. “And you must know how to budget.”

Remedios joined CARD bank 8 years ago and is now on her 14th loan. Last December, she also opened a savings account—Grameen Foundation helped CARD Bank to create for its clients—to put aside some of her profits for future needs.

Grameen Foundation has been working with CARD Bank over the past decade and in 2010, launched an initiative to help it provide safer and more accessible savings products to its clients. In the past 3 years, the bank has enrolled more than 331,000 new savers by creating new products and introducing ATMs, mobile phones and other services.

The poor need a full range of financial tools, including loans and savings accounts and other services that can help them manage their own lives. Donate today, to help us increase financial access in communities across the world.