Maputo, MozambiqueElisa Francisco Langa
Elisa’s small stall in the local market hosts a refrigerated case for soda and shelves lined with home and cooking supplies. But the true focus of the shop is on the low counter that extends around the perimeter of the store, filled with heaping baskets of rice, peanuts and grain. Elisa sells them by the bag, scooping up what her customers need and sending them on their way as she happily chats with her neighbors.
For Elisa, business was not always so easy. She started selling bulk grains from her home in 2003, when her two daughters – now 19 and 12 – were just babies. She worked tirelessly to support her family after her husband left, and eventually was offered a small plot in a commercial area. She jumped at the opportunity to reach a broader set of customers, and moved her operations into the weaving, winding paths of the market.
In 2010, Elisa learned about Opportunity and took out her first loan to purchase additional inventory in bulk. She liked that Opportunity offered small loans, as opposed to other banks that would require her to take out more than she needed or could reasonably pay back. With more stock than ever before, Elisa quickly began earning more. Soon, she was able to start saving and opened a savings account at Opportunity.
She had a goal in mind for her savings: a vehicle. She knew that a car would help both her business and her family, empowering her to more easily transport inventory for the shop from town to the market, and also allowing her kids to get around. After several years of saving, Elisa reached her goal and purchased a car.
Now, Elisa is saving to grow and improve the store. She is excited about the future and confident that she can achieve her goals. Most of all, she is proud that she can support her daughters in their educations. Her oldest daughter completed high school and is now studying HR management, and her younger daughter is in middle school. Elisa is so proud of them, and dreams that they will finish school and get good jobs of their own.