Aneta Andarus has much to celebrate!  She opened her threading salon with assistance from the WE STAR Center and just 15 months later, her business is thriving. 

After emigrating from Iraq in 2009, Aneta worked in a number of San Diego beauty salons.  She had learned the art of threading from a master threader in Iraq and dreamed of owning her own business here. Threading is an ancient, natural and chemical-free hair removal technique that is becoming very popular in the United States.

Just six years ago as a founding member of her Adelante Foundation assembly in her rural village in southern Honduras, Yenis invested her first loan of $135 in aluminum pots.  She borrowed a tiny area at the back of her cousin’s home as a workspace.  With the help of her husband and son, she collected scrap metal to melt down and recycle into usable products.

Paula Thrives in Honduras

By Jose´ Nuncio

Paula Dominguez has been a dedicated member of one of the women’s assemblies with Adelante Foundation in Honduras since its operations first opened in Intibucá. Paula has long used her loans to buy and resell vegetables in the local market, slowly allocating a portion of the earnings from her business to invest in a few crops. A motivated woman, she has attended the agricultural workshops hosted by Adelante and sponsored by WE, and she has been able to put her new skills into practice.

Fleeing Iraq for San Diego

Silvana Hammo left Baghdad at the age of 19 and spent a year in Lebanon before being approved by the U.S. State Department to immigrate to San Diego.

She worked at a Subway sandwich shop for two years while she studied English, but always knew she wanted more. A relative told her about the WE STAR Center at IRC and their childcare licensing program, so she decided to seek their assistance to launch her own business. She attended their childcare business training program and, with their assistance, got her “small” family childcare license.

An Entrepreneur Creates Opportunities

Mary Dede Tetteh took her first loan for $47 from WomensTrust – WE’s former partner bank for the poor in Ghana - in March 2011. For the past 12 years, she has sold fish, vegetables and charcoal in front of her house and distributed maize to retailers in her community of Pokuase, near Accra, Ghana’s capital.

One Ugandan Grandmother’s Success

Stidia Tumubwine, 54, lives in the village of Kazirakyende in southwest Uganda, along with her three grandchildren.

Two of the children, now ages eight and ten, came to live with her three years ago after Stidia’s daughter separated from their father. The third child, nine-year-old Martin, is a double orphan, the offspring of Stidia’s late son. His mother abandoned him at his grandmother’s home and later died.

Palm Oil Leads to Financial Security

Janet Afari sells palm oil on market days in the Nsawam Market in Ghana and works on her cassava and maize farm every other day.

She is a single parent with two children who has benefited significantly from a WomensTrust micro loan, made possible by financial support from WE.

Working Toward Three Meals a Day

For 35 years, Grace Akor has cooked and sold banku, a fermented cassava dough made into a paste with hot water and served with soup or stew. Before receiving a loan from WomensTrust – WE’s former partner bank for the poor in Ghana – she had to buy her supplies on credit. Now she is able to pay cash, which saves her money and makes it possible for her to buy more supplies at one time. With her profits she pays school fees and buys clothing for her daughter.

Big Dreams for a Fabric Business

Before her loans, Matilda could not make enough money selling fabrics to support herself. But now, with a small loan from WomensTrust – WE’s former partner bank for the poor in Ghana – she has almost doubled her income.

Now she is able to buy more fabrics and also sell more. Those profits have helped her to take care of her two children. “Now customers are demanding my fabrics, so I sell more.

On most days, you can find Vida Zah outside the Mawuli Spot, her drinking establishment in Pokuase, Ghana. She smiles and chats and makes her customers feel welcome while they imbibe her sodas, beer and pure water.

Loans from WomensTrust – WE’s former partner bank for the poor in Ghana – have allowed Vida to increase her stock, employ two women and boost her weekly sales. The loans have made it