Sometimes the micro-entrepreneurs that Five Talents assists need more than just a loan to spark their survival business into a sustainable enterprise. They might first need something more basic, like windows and a floor for their home.
This was the case with Gloria, a 35-year-old shop owner in Huancavelica, Peru. The mother of three has to bear alone the burden of providing for her family.
"There were days when I wanted to leave everything and run away, but God who is almighty gave me strength to keep going," she told us. "Today, I am the mother and the father of my children, and we are doing well."
When Gloria was first introduced to Five Talents' partner in Peru, the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (ECLOF), she had managed to build only a simple shelter for her family.
"I had a dirt floor and no windows; a plastic sheet was what we used for a window," she recalled.
Gloria's children often coughed through the night and felt the cold in their bones.
"It is very cold in Huancavelica and the wind entered my house like a snake that crawled through every corner of my home and on every inch of my children's bodies," she said. "They clung to me in the nights seeking warmth."
Knowing that something had to change, Gloria applied for and received a small loan that would allow her to lay a floor in her tiny home and install windows.
Now, her children are feeling much better.
"The wind no longer enters like it did before, and my children can play, jump, and laugh," she said. "They did just that this past Christmas when I bought them some small gifts. But the greatest gift of all is our new and improved home. I thank God for helping to change my life and bring a smile to my children's faces."
In the coming months, Gloria plans "to pay off my current loan, and take out another one to re-stock my shop."
To find out more about the life of micro-entrepreneurs in rural Peru, please watch our latest video: