In a bustling Bacolod mall we meet Angelita Tupaz (50). Angelita became a client of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) eight years ago with an individual loan of PHP 50,000 (around € 1,000). She used the loan to open a shop selling hair products. The mall we visited is now home to three of her branches, including her first shop. Angelita invited us into one of her beauty salons and we settled into hairdressing chairs to hear her story.
Angelita is an empowered woman who takes control of the situation and does not get intimidated by our presence. Trained in promotion and sales in previous jobs, Angelita decided to return to Negros from Manila and start a business. She is currently in her 10th loan cycle with a loan of PHP 700,000 (€ 14,000). Today Angelita manages nine branches offering hair and spa services.
“Beauty is very good business,” explained Angelita. “Filipino women like looking good and they regularly get their hair and nails done. I even have a client that comes three times a week to get a pedicure, manicure, get her hair done and use the spa services.”
Angelita only takes loans with NWTF. Her loyalty is based on trust and a good relationship with her loan officer: “I receive offers from banks, but I don’t want to go through the trouble. I am with NWTF and will stay with NWTF.”
Why keep growing?
Angelita’s businesses seemed to have grown non-stop. But this is not completely true: she was once denied a loan to open a branch in another mall because NWTF knew that the market in that location was at that time saturated and that Angelita could have faced serious competition. Angelita took the advice and accepted NWTF’s decision, but entrepreneurial as she is, she opened another branch in a better location soon after.
What drives Angelita to keep growing her business? She says it’s not about the money because she can live from her current income. She also knows that another branch will only create more work for her. Angelita has another mission in mind: “My expansion helps others find employment,” she told us.
Today Angelita employs 65 people.