A downpour of blessings from dry goods retailing

MEET OUR CLIENT: Anunciacion Santillan

Anunciacion Santillan won the National Award under the Maunlad category in the 2008 Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards

In 1999, Anunciacion Santillan used a mere folding bed along the sidewalk as 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 family. Less than a decade later, she now owns six merchandize stalls in the Bantayan public market in Bantayan Island, Cebu.

The change for the better was not entirely miraculous but was borne of more hard work, perseverance, financial discipline, and a little outside help.

Year 2003 became a crossroad for the Santillans when they discovered First Agri-Industrial Rural Bank (FAIR Bank) branch on Bantayan island. Mrs. Santillan’s first loan, which amounted to Php 20,000, was used to augment her savings to be used as business capital. Access to more funds and capital increased her opportunities to expand and sell more.

Anunciacion Santillan won the National Award under the Maunlad category in the 2008 Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Anunciacion Santillan won the National Award under the Maunlad category in the 2008 Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Since then, Mrs. Santillan has maintained an excellent repayment track record with FAIR Bank, having received her 11th loan cycle of Php 80,000 in May 2008. Year by year, her sales and profit grew. Her yearly gross sales are now around Php 9 million, which help her generate an annual profit of around Php 600,000.

With her earnings, she was able to finance the renovation of the family house, buy a car and a motorbike, furnish their home with needed furniture and appliances, and save up through a time deposit. She was likewise able to expand to a hog-raising business with around a hundred pigs in her piggery.

She employs nine people, two of whom are her niece and nephew who are now able to go to school with their own wages. The businesses have become not just a source of blessing for the Santillans but for their family and community as well.

Anunciacion 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 they too, just a decade ago, had come from humble sidewalk beginnings.