Hotmian's story begins with a failure. But as with many successful entrepreneurs, the failure merely gave her an opportunity to succeed.
The mother of three in Bekasi, Indonesia once owned a building materials business, along with her husband, Ramli. But when their enterprise went bankrupt in 2009, the family came to a crossroads.
Ramli decided to begin working as a driver. It was a job, after all, although it didn't provide a steady income.
Hotmian, a business woman at heart, did not want to give up her dream. But instead of starting a new business from scratch, which would cost her a lot of capital, she agreed to purchase her sister's struggling food stall business.
Food and grocery stalls are a dime a dozen in the developing world, and many never turn a profit.
But Hotmian believed she had a formula for success. With a loan from Five Talents' partner GERHATI, she expanded the food stall's stock, adding daily staple foods, such as rice, eggs, sugar, flour, shampoos, soaps and cigarettes. She also began offering catering services for people who wanted specialty foods from North Sumatra, another province in Indonesia.
These niche offerings soon began to make the business profitable, but Hotmian didn't stop there.
She saved and saved until she and her husband could build four additional rooms onto their small home. She now rents out these rooms and uses the money to pay for her children's school expenses.
Meanwhile, the grocery stall and catering business is still turning a profit.
Hotmian, who is now on her seventh loan cycle with GERHATI, told us that she now has a monthly profit of about US $388. Her husband has since quit his job as a driver in order to help with their family businesses.
What's more, Hotmian, a Christian, says she has found her calling serving the many transvestites that populate her poor community. She attends a regular Bible study and is seen by the needy in her neighborhood as a beacon of hope and encouragement.
Hotmian has found ways to use her own God-given talents, and now she is encouraging others to do the same.
Five Talents and its partners in Indonesia provide savings and loan services, business skills training and spiritual development. Five Talents' partner GERHATI also organizes free health clinics several times a year for the poor in Jakarta's slum communities.