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Chicago, IL 60607

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© 2016 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

An Unstoppable Loan Client

By Steph Jimenez

Steph was an Intern with Opportunity International in the Summer of 2013.

Opportunity International works in more than 20 countries including the Philippines. Manila businesswoman, Concepcion Valenzuela, makes 10 types of ceramics products in her small rented shop.

With the help of several Opportunity loans, Concepcion purchased clay, paint and equipment such as a mixing machine and rented a larger shop. She now employs seven workers and produces an inventory of hundreds of products, including delicate bowls, colorful mugs and decorative statuary. She sells her work in boutiques and shopping malls, as well as exports it to the U.S., Australia and Germany.

The increased revenue from her business as a result of her loans has allowed Concepcion, her husband, Jesus, and her three children, Christine Joy, Jesse and Charme, to live more comfortably. Christine Joy is currently enrolled in university studying psychology, while Charme will study business management once Christine graduates. Jesse stays at home to help support the family.

A few years ago, Concepcion’s husband was involved in an accident that left him disabled. The event strengthened the family’s resolve to support each other. “Despite my husband’s physical condition, we have a successful business,” she said. “We pray God will guide us every day.”

Concepcion pays it forward by sharing her business knowledge with members of her church. She advises them on how to price items and manage a business. She says she is thankful for the blessings God provides her and looks forward to a brighter future. Opportunity International is privileged to work with exceptional clients like Concepcion, who use a small investment to transform their lives, families and communities.

In August, heavy monsoon rains from typhoons Maring and Labuyo battered the Philippines causing devastating flooding and affecting more than 2.5 million residents, including 541,554 families in 1,822 villages in 138 towns and 35 cities in 17 provinces. This number included nearly 150,000 Opportunity International clients and staff, many of whom have lost their homes and businesses. Learn more about how you can continue to help with relief efforts.

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