Located in Upper Manhattan, Rebeca’s store is an eclectic mix. Before joining Grameen America, Rebeca ran the money transfer arm of her business for over 20 years. In 2013, after learning about Grameen America from a friend, she decided to expand her business to include a juice bar.
With a first loan of $1,500, Rebeca was able to purchase a refrigerator, blenders, juicers, and produce to launch her new business venture. She has since stayed in the program due to the low-interest rate, and is now on her 12th Grameen America loan of $11,000. Her most popular product is the green juice, especially early in the morning when her customers want a fresh drink on their way to work.
With Grameen America, Rebeca has been able to gradually expand her business and receive support from other women business owners in her community. She has learned from her group members to be punctual and to make her loan repayments on time. She is also mentoring another member who recently started a similar business. Her advice to other women entrepreneurs is simple:
“Stay within your means, plan for the future but always be present and ready to step up to the next level.”
Rebeca and her husband run both businesses together. In the future, Rebeca plans to use additional loans to hire two employees and open another location in Manhattan or the Bronx. One of Rebeca’s daughters is also member. Grameen America has impacted both Rebeca and her family’s life, and it has shown her daughter the value of being a business owner.
“Grameen America has helped me support my family.”
With her involvement with Grameen America, Rebeca now has savings. Two of Rebeca’s five children currently live at home with her, and she hopes they can get a good education and reach their potential.
“I am thankful to Grameen America for the opportunity to become a member. I see that the program is helping women and the community around them.”