By Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation

Virginia Borde is a simple woman whose struggles to lift herself and her family out of poverty through entrepreneurial acumen.

Her story of success starts from tragedy: abandoned by her husband while she was pregnant with their 4th child, Virgie went home to her parents’ hometown in Sagay, Negros Occidental on a borrowed plane ticket. Bearing the sole responsibility of raising her children, Virgie tried all she could to make money, even starting a laminating business that ultimately failed. She went back to the old standby of selling fish until the day she heard about the group lending program at Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. (NWTF). Virgie visited the branch and knew this was the opportunity she had been looking for.

Virgie, client of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation

Her first loan was aimed at expanding her business, but clashes with another vendor forced her to close her business. But NWTF assured her that they would continue to support her, so Virgie went into the business of providing the rice farmers within her area the services of rice land preparation and harvesting by means of agricultural machineries – hand tractors and threshers. She had an inkling about a rice business since the beginning, and this was the first time she could do something about it. Three years of a bountiful harvest later, Virgie has become a successful business woman, winning Citigroup’s Microentrepreneur of the Year National Award in 2005. When asked what she feels her situation would have been like without NWTF, Virgie answered “my children would not have finished schooling and I would have a miserable existence vending vegetable and fish.”