Aflida De Mota
Grameen Entrepreneur, Boston
I used to work at the Burlington Coat Factory. I was working 90 hours a week, taking as much overtime as I could so I could send money back to my family in the Dominican Republic. It was really stressful and terrible for my health. I developed high blood pressure and got very sick—so sick that Burlington Coat Factory was worried about me continuing to work for them.
Grameen gave me a $1,500 loan and I started my own business. I sell clothes, jewelry, and even computers. Whatever people want, I will get it for them. My life is 100% percent better now. I’m my own manager. I work on my own time. Over the last 3 years running my own business, I’ve built much more security for myself. I’m older, and I need to start saving so I can retire. My business is helping me to do that.
Now, I’m in the position to help other women in my community. The women in my Grameen group support each other every day. We buy from each other’s business. We also help each other in times of need. My friend’s husband died, and I was able to give her money to help pay for the funeral. Another friend lost her child. I worked with other women to raise $200 dollars for her to travel to the Dominican Republic. If I have something extra, I like to give it to other women to support their children.
My dream is to open my own store, a boutique. Maybe I can do it next year. With Grameen, I believe I can do it. Every day I thank God. I have never seen a company like Grameen America, that helps women by loaning money at such low interest rates.
I’m really happy now. I tell other women, “You can do it!”