Finding Motivation and Discipline

Alejandrina has always been a hard worker. Before joining Grameen, she held various jobs as a food saleswoman, a warehouse employee, and a housekeeper. Now, she runs her own beauty salon, Divas, in Indianapolis. “It has been more than difficult, but I have had to do it all for my children,” she explained. “I hope to give them a better future.”

Alejandrina joined Grameen America in 2016 with the hope of expanding and improving her salon. Since then, she has taken out six loans, the most recent of which was $3,750. Thus far, Grameen America has invested $13,000 in her and her business.

Divas sits inside of a local flea market. Alejandrina offers full hair and nail services; she cuts and recolors hair for men, women, and children and is also a manicurist and does acrylic nails. With Alejandrina’s most recent loan, she purchased a chair and hair products. She also is saving some of her money to be able to pay rent for the salon in the winter. “Grameen America has taught me discipline, unity, and the value of working together as a team—things I was not accustomed to in my old life,” Alejandrina said. “I apply that discipline in my business environment.” Alejandrina has one business partner, also a stylist. Her additional income goes towards her personal expenses, rent, and anything else she may need for her salon.

Like many mothers, Alejandrina’s driving motivation is her children. She is a single mother of five: three boys and two girls. They are adults now, but she brought them to the United States with her when they were very young. Now, both her daughters are in Indianapolis with her, and all three of her sons are back in Mexico.

She greatly appreciates the support she receives through the other women in her Grameen group, who are all very disciplined with their payments and attendance at their weekly meetings. And the women support each other’s businesses—some of the members are even clients at her salon.

She said of the Grameen program: “As you know, in the USA nobody can get a loan from a financial institution without a credit score. Grameen provides loans without requiring collateral or a credit score. In that sense, Grameen is our guardian.”