Since his beginnings as Trainee Center Manager at our Omaha branch in 2011, David Acosta has risen in the ranks at Grameen America, working in Charlotte, NC and San Juan, PR. Now, a Branch Manager at our newly established location in Houston, TX, David spoke to us about his time working at Grameen America and what motivates him to support women to become successful entrepreneurs.
How did you come to work with Grameen America?
My older sister worked for Grameen America first. She told me about the organization’s mission to help low-income women become entrepreneurs. I was working in a post office, but I wanted to do something bigger with my life and to make a difference. I knew I had potential—I needed to channel it into something good for my community. After researching Grameen America and learning about its Nobel Peace Prize winning origins, I joined the team in Omaha, Nebraska.
There’s a clear opportunity for growth while working at Grameen America. What’s your advice to someone joining the team?
Grameen America gives you the opportunity to develop your career. My advice to all staff and those thinking of joining the team is to always try your best and to think about your goals for the future. I believe the organization recognizes hard work, and that has helped me advance my career from being a Trainee Center Manager to managing the Houston branch.
Today, I tell my new staff that anything is possible. Many of the staff that I have personally hired have now gone on to become successful leaders within the organization. And, many of my colleagues that started as Trainee Center Managers have now gone on to lead as Regional Directors.
Why did the Grameen America mission resonate with you?
One of the driving factors for me to work at Grameen America was my family. When I was growing up, my mom had a small business of her own selling cosmetic products, so the mission of supporting women to achieve financial mobility felt very familiar to me.
Once I started, my mom told me, “If you want to truly support these women, think about me. Whenever you give a loan to a member, treat them with the same respect you would your own mother. Treat these women in the best way possible.”
Now, every time a borrower comes to me to receive a loan, I think of my mother’s advice. Our program is important to me—my wife also worked for Grameen America and prior to me meeting her, she was also a member.
What motivates you in this work?
I love Grameen America and I’m always striving to do my best in this role. Our work can change our members’ lives. After nine years at Grameen America, I believe joining the team has been my best decision yet.
There are members who I worked with when I started at the Omaha branch who are now receiving $10,000 loans, having only started with a small business selling food or cosmetics.
One of the first members that I gave a loan to opened a small restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. With access to loan capital from Grameen America, this member now runs a large restaurant and even operates several food trucks across the city.
Stories like these make an impact in my life because I know that our program is changing the lives of tens of thousands of families across the country.
Find out about employment opportunities at Grameen America here.