Monday, September 2, 2013

Creating Strong Bonds Through Mentoring

Diaconia Nacional, one of Partners Worldwide local affiliates, has started this year with a mentoring pilot program. Each one of the loan officers of the microcredit program has identified those cases that need to receive a more personalized mentoring and that would be open for another entrepreneur to walk alongside with them offering advice, coaching, and encouraging them. On the other side, the loan officers have also spoken to those entrepreneurs that have grown and succeed in their business and that would like to have the opportunity to share their wisdom and experience.

Among one of these cases that have accepted this challenge and new path, are Gloria and Reina. Reina, featured in one of our past stories, is the owner of a party supplies store located in El Guanacaste, with a wide inventory of piñatas. Beyond being successful in her business, Reina has always shown a servant heart to help with her gifs and talents to all those that could benefit from it. In this case, Reina was presented the opportunity to become a local mentor to the Gloria's miscellaneous store, and she accepted it.

Gloria, an entrepreneurial woman since her 14 years, currently resides in Nueva Suyapa and owns a miscellaneous store. Before, Gloria owned a pulperia (convenient store in the neighborhood) but due to the war tax (regular fee requested by threaten by the gangs) and the threatens from the gangs, she closed her pulperia. Her daughter, who resides in the United States, sends her containers with various kitchen, clothes, shoes, and other type of products. Gloria has created a small store in her house where she exhibits her products. Due to fear to threatens, Gloria keeps it closed most of the time and only invites her friends and referrals to do shopping.

Gloria and Reina had their first meeting this past Thursday, August 29, where they were introduced by the loan officer, Leda Rivera. It was very special to see how both woman opened up and show willingness and enthusiasm to start this relationship. Reina, being a woman with a lot of experience, shared many ideas with Gloria, but the highlight of that meeting is that she was able to identify Gloria's main problem: she is afraid of threatens. The lack of organization, marketing, good collection processes are not the main challenges Gloria is facing, but her fear to be asked for the war tax or that the thieves find her business is running.
This introductory session was a good icebreaker time, but it was not only filled of business principles, but foremost of an encouraging and praying spirit so that Gloria could lose her fear to continue developing her business and improve it. We pray that this relationship will continue developing successfully and that it can have an impact in both entrepreneur's lives.

Gloria's Miscellaneous store.

Gloria (left) and Reina (right) fixing prices to some
of her products.

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