Losing a Job to Start a Business: Tina's Story

When Tina lost her factory job in Jakarta, Indonesia, her children, Putri and Willy, also lost the funds they needed to cover school fees for books and uniforms. Tina, 40, needed to act fast.

While her husband continued his work as a driver in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, Tina opened a small salon. Unfortunately, it was one of many in the neighborhood. While she was skilled in cutting and styling hair, her business did not survive, in part due to the cutthroat competition on her street.

So Tina took Putri and Willy with her to Cileungsi, a suburb of Bogor, which is about 60 km south of Jakarta. She once again set up a salon, and once again, it failed to generate any income. It was around this time that she learned about Five Talents' local partner in Indonesia, GERHATI. The project in Indonesia maintains three core programs that provide financial support, training, and technical assistance to poor entrepreneurs.

Tina joined the program and, before long, was able to take out a loan and invest in a business that GERHATI helped her to develop. With the microloan, she bought a small food cart and positioned it outside of a large school in her neighborhood. She stocked it with instant noodles, sodas, snacks, and sausages.

So far, Tina has been averaging a monthly profit of 200,000 Indonesian rupiahs, or $20. Most importantly, she is earning enough to cover her children's school expenses, which include the cost of uniforms ($60 a year), books ($10 per semester) and after-school care ($10 a month). Tina is also paying back her loan, while her husband's salary is used to pay for electricity, rent and daily needs.

Tina says that she wants her children to get the most out of school, so she does not ask them to do any housework. Her only request beyond studying hard? "Pray every day," she tells them.

Help more women like Tina escape poverty and build a brighter future. Your donation to Five Talents supports entrepreneurs with business skills training, savings group formation, mentorship, and financial services.