Elizabeth Lacumbo, a sari-sari store owner from Batangas continues to dream big as she strives harder to support her family.

“The best” is how Elizabeth Lacumbo, 53-year-old resident of Sto. Tomas, Batangas, describes her overall experience of being an entrepreneur.

Her first job was becoming an operator for an electronics company in Manila at the age of 18. The challenges of the corporate world, particularly the lack of control over her own time, made her reconsider her career path.

Upon regularization, she decided to secure a house in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, through a loan. It was in 2000 when she decided to relocate to Batangas and leave her job in Manila.

With no other source of income, she opened a sari-sari store business using the money she had saved from her previous job. She also did not consider looking for another employment as she was pregnant with her firstborn that time.

Initially, her store did not do well due to the small number of people in the neighborhood. However, as more family resided in the area, her business progressively improved; from an initial capital of PHP 2,000.00, she now has a capital of about PHP 200,000.00.

According to her, she would not be able to afford to expand her store without the assistance of CARD SME Bank, a thrift bank that offers business loans to micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs.

At first she was skeptical to join, but after gaining positive feedback from the neighbors she decided to become a client of the bank in 2013. She used her initial loan of PHP 5,000.00 as an additional capital for her sari-sari store business. Currently, they own two tricycles, which they purchased with the money earned from their store.

Being a good payer that she is, she now has increased her loan into PHP 150,000.00. When she’s in need of capital, CARD SME Bank is always there to support her and provide the needed capital to operate her business.

“In starting a business, you need to be patient and have strong faith in God, so whatever challenges come your way, you can overcome them,” Lacumbo’s piece of advice for those people who wished to open their own business.