Coop market microfinance project enabled Mariza Tejerero to start a vendor business

Mariza Tejerero and her daughter at their vendor cart.

Mariza Tejerero is a 52-year-old market vendor living in the SRCC government socialised housing site where she has lived since 2019. She lives with her two children and two grandchildren. The majority of residents in the housing site are informal workers and low-wage earners, including market vendors, small business owners, as well as overseas workers. Mariza’s son is a construction worker and is the main income provider in the family. Her daughter helps Mariza in vendor cart selling.

Mariza first became a market vendor in 2019 when Dana Asia worked with the SRCC cooperative leaders to initiate the coop market project which aimed to provide microfinance and livelihood opportunities to community members and improve community’s access to affordable goods through the setup of a community market. Twelve vendor carts were setup in the main street intersection in the housing site and the “mini market” was promoted for patronage by coop members and residents. Mariza was one of the first vendor cart owners, receiving a loan from GPMI of PHP 10,000 (AU$275) as start-up capital for her vendor business. She established her vendor cart selling fresh meat in March 2020, but was forced to stop operation for almost one year during the height of the COVID pandemic. When restrictions eased, she was able to restart her cart in 2021 and with business slowly returning to normal she is able to earn an average net income of PHP 2,500 (AU$69) per month that helps with her family’s expenses, including education and health costs.

“This project has provided livelihood to vendor cart operators and given accessible, affordable goods to residents through the mini market in the community. With the earnings I get from my cart I am able to purchase more goods to sell and grow my business. Before I had very minimal savings because most of my income was spent on family’s food. Now I am able to save for the education of my grandchildren.”

Mariza Tejerero

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