The Entrepreneurial Mom: Josephine Moreno Story

“World Vision has been in our community for quite some time now. Aside from encouraging children to finish their education, the organization also empowers parents in providing for the family’s basic needs.

For one, World Vision taught us the discipline and value of savings. I used to save money in a piggy bank for emergency purposes but ended up dipping into it more often than not, to cover for our daily household expenses. Opening a bank account was never an option because there was nothing much to save.

I used to rely on my husband’s income to provide for our daily needs. When World Vision introduced us to a community savings mechanism, I am able to financially contribute to support our family.

There are many savings groups in our community, composed mostly of women. I belong to D’Saver’s Group that has 25 members who meet weekly to save from as little as Php20. Last year, I saved more than Php11,000, an amount that seemed impossible to save before. My savings were used for house repair and children’s school allowance.

 

Beyond savings

When World Vision saw that we’ve understood now the value of savings, its staff encouraged us to go beyond weekly savings. “How about putting up a business?” Nilo Alva, a World Vision staff, once asked us. I felt a little hesitant because I didn’t know anything about operating a business having been a housewife all my life. But I decided that I have to work through my fear.

World Vision first invited us to a week-long business training. Opportunities like this is not common in our community. We were truly happy and blessed that this training was offered for free.

After the training, I decided to join a group that would venture into rice trading. Other groups are into hog raising and fish selling. The only requirement asked from a member is that he/she should be part of a savings group first.

We started our rice business in 2017. We worked on various permits and licenses needed to register a business. All these paper works were complicated and tedious for us, especially to our group president, Luth Garduque, who mostly worked to complete the documents.

Our group would purchase sacks of rice from the market. Then, members would buy and sell it in her community. As a rice retailer, I profit around Php1000, which I mostly use for Shai’s education. The extra income I earned from reselling rice helps a lot since I have no work and merely a volunteer (which I am happy and proud of!).

 

The big AHA moments

The biggest lesson I learned so far is to see the forest for the trees. Our rice trading business experience changed the way I see other businesses in our community. Now I know the hardships the owners went through in putting up their business. Before, I only see them making profit.

The second thing I learned is that you have to trust your team. Without trust, your business will struggle. I am fortunate that my team mates in the rice trading group are also World Vision volunteers. We share common experiences.

Entrepreneurship is rewarding, but it is not without challenges. Like most businesses, our group had our share of problems such as some customers not paying on time. But problems must not stop us from moving forward. Be positive.

And, more importantly, the highest trust should be to God. Without His guidance, anything we do would surely not become fruitful.

These learnings are crucial as we expand our rice business into a convenience store where we can sell not just rice but frozen foods and other grocery items.

I am deeply thankful to World Vision sponsors and staff for the patience, encouragement and for believing in us. I can say that even if World Vision’s program in our community ends, we will do our best to keep our business successful. It is our way of thanking the people and the organization who believed in what we can do and showed us that with God nothing is impossible.”