Meet Lourdes


For sixteen years, Lourdes ran her own hair salon in Ecuador. When she moved to Newark two years ago, Lourdes found work in a salon. She had always harbored a dream of owning a business in the U.S., and she was eager to turn that dream into a reality.   

Once she was finally in a position to rent her own salon, Lourdes had limited funds left. Without any stock to work with and an empty salon—apart from three hair washing stations—Lourdes had to build her business from the ground up.

With her first loan from Grameen America, Lourdes bought chairs, mirrors, and hair supplies for the salon. The loan transformed her mindset and she was no longer worried that she didn’t have the products needed to take care of her clients.

“Once I received my first loan, I felt calmer.”

Lourdes has four children who are currently living in Ecuador, aged six to 20 years old. Her only family in Newark is her husband. 

“I want my children to move to the U.S. and work with me, so I can teach them how to be a successful business owner.”

Lourdes believes joining Grameen America was the best option available for her to access capital. Without a credit history, Lourdes’ opportunities to obtain a loan were very limited and when she tried to get financing from a bank, she was denied.

Lourdes believes it is up to the individual to be committed to seize the opportunity and develop a profitable business. She currently employs two staff members, and in the future, she wants to move to a bigger space.

With the added income from her salon, Lourdes has been able to support her children in Ecuador and pay for their school. She has also been able to pay for the debt on her house.

“Since owning my own salon, I feel more motivated at work because I know it’s contributing to my future goals.”