In 1999, Anunciacion Santillan used a folding bed along the sidewalk as a display area for the dry goods she sold. Back then, life was not easy; she and her husband worked hard, but still earned barely enough for their needs. Less than a decade later, she owns six merchandise stalls in the Bantayan public market in Bantayan Island, Cebu. This change came through hard work, perseverance, financial discipline, and a little outside help.
In 2003, the Santillans discovered FAIR Bank in Cebu. Mrs. Santillan’s first loan of 20,000 PHP ($400) was used to augment her savings and used as business capital. Additional capital meant more items to sell, thus, more opportunities for profit. Since then, she has maintained an excellent client standing with FAIR Bank, which released her 11th loan cycle of 80,000 PHP.
With the help and financing from FAIR Bank, her business grew and expanded. With her earnings, she was able to finance renovation and furnishing of her home, buy a car and a motorbike, and save with the bank. She was also able to expand to a hog-raising business, with about 100 heads of hogs.
The combined businesses are able to employ nine people, two of whom are her niece and nephew — who are now able to go to school with their own earnings. The businesses have become not just a source of blessing for the Santillans. but for their family and community as well.
Mrs. Santillan is more than happy to share not just her blessings, but her success story as well. She hopes that with it, other people will be inspired to try harder and succeed, knowing that she too had come from a humble sidewalk beginning just a decade ago. She was awarded the Citi Philippines Microentrepreneur of the Year Award for 2008.