Working Hand-in-Hand

Published

Edrian B. Banania, Junior Writer

In life, everything is possible to those who have the courage to take risks and the perseverance to fight all life’s challenges.

Meet Susan Pascua, a 47-year-old entrepreneur who, together with her family, has turned a small sari-sari store into a thriving business specializing in making homemade chicken pastil, a local delicacy in Cotabato Province.

Susan’s family has deep roots in public service, with her husband and eldest son serving as police officers in Parang, Cotabato City. Two other children are following in their father’s footsteps, pursuing degrees in Criminology. Meanwhile, the younger siblings are still in high school and elementary level.

Beforehand, the Pascua family started with a small sari-sari store, initially selling household items. Susan’s vision for growth led her to introduce pastil, a popular rice dish in the Muslim community. With a small starting capital, Susan bought one kilo of rice and chicken to start her pastil business.

As the desire to expand the business grew, Susan became a client of CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), and started with a modest loan of PHP 2,000 which was sufficient as a capital for the family business.

Over time, Susan’s loans reached up to PHP 150,000, which she used for business and family needs. The financial assistance she received not only boosted the business but also supported their children’s education through educational loans. She expressed gratitude, affirming her commitment to CARD, Inc. until her children finish their school.

From a small sari-sari store, Susan now offers a variety of cooked foods, with pastil wrapped in banana leaves emerging as a customer favorite. The addition of homemade chicken pastil paste and chili sauce have further diversified their product offerings.

The Pascua family embodies teamwork, with each member contributing to the business’s success. Susan imparts her knowledge of pastil preparation and business operations to her children.

The business operates almost seven days a week from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm. The store is considered as the steppingstone of the family’s brighter future.

Aside from courage, dedication, and perseverance, the Paglambo Project, facilitated by CARD, Inc., has been instrumental in the Pascua family’s journey. The project enabled them to establish and grow their business, support their children’s education, and improve their overall quality of life.

Looking ahead, Susan envisions renovating their home, expanding the store, and transforming their living room into a mini-restaurant, responding to customer requests. Plans also include acquiring a car for both family and business use, marking the continuous growth of their entrepreneurial venture.

Her message for other microfinance clients resonates loud and clear, “Utilize loans wisely, invest in your business, and watch opportunities unfold. Through dedication, hard work, and strategic use of financial resources, dreams can turn into reality.”

Susan Pascua and her family prove the transformative impact of microfinance, proving that with the right support, determination, and a clear vision, anyone can turn a small business into a thriving family business.

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