For Tedy, each workday is different. She could be assisting an immigration lawyer, advising a client with a speeding ticket, notarizing a document or assisting with taxes. A wife and mother of two young sons, this spring Tedy graduated college as a paralegal.
Based in Newark, Tedy has run her notary business for 18 years. She has clients from Long Island to North Carolina, and she often works with international consulates, where the business provides translation services.
Before joining, a repossessed car resulted in Tedy’s poor credit score. Now on her third loan, Grameen America has invested $5,600 in her growing business. With weekly on-time repayments, Tedy was able to increase her credit score from 400 to 600. She now plans to purchase a house for her family.
“The most important thing that has happened since joining Grameen America is seeing my credit score increase. I didn’t know what to expect when I received my credit report. At first, I didn’t believe it and now I have the proof in my hands.”
With her first loan of $1,500, Tedy renovated her storefront and opened the money transferring arm of her business. A true entrepreneur, Tedy also runs a cleaning business on the side.
“If you go to the bank with poor credit, especially as a woman, nobody believes in you. Grameen America gave me the opportunity to grow. Men are often seen has the main breadwinner in a family but that’s not always the case.”
Tedy has three employees at her Newark office. With her next loan, she plans to hire another secretary and broaden their translation services. Tedy often receives referrals from previous clients, and in the future, she plans to open a second location in South Jersey to meet demand.
Tedy’s best friend told her about Grameen America, and now she recommends the program to everyone.
“Women are often scared to open a business because they lack the capital and feel as if they don’t have enough experience. But I encourage these women to know that they can be successful—and they will gain the experience they need along the way.”
She dreams that one day her sons they will become lawyers or dentists. But she would be equally happy if they joined the family business.
“I am really thankful for Grameen America because they were there when I needed them.”