Shirley’s Story: Hard work and a microloan turned Shirley into a successful business owner

September 25, 2017

By: Women’s World Banking

Shirley Ecot owes her work ethic to her mother: “We were taught to do business the hard way.” Her mother trained them to wake up at 1 in the morning to ensure they were at the market when it opened at 3 AM.

Shirley Ecot, award-winning entrepreneur from the Philippines Shirley helped out in her family’s market stall for years before getting married and move to a new city with her husband where they opened a small sundries vending operation. They took the savings from this income to start making and selling a new product: cooked peanuts. The couple sold their product around schools, markets and the bus terminal rather successfully until Shirley became pregnant. They moved back to their hometown where they resumed their business. Slowly but surely, they were able to sell more kinds of peanuts to more stores.

They started borrowing money to be able to keep up with supply but this came with an added stress: the unrelenting need to pay their debts everyday. Lucky for Shirley, Women’s World Banking network member Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) was operating in her area. Shirley joined Project Dungganon which helped her buy additional supplies and equipment, eventually formalizing her business to “Fritzie’s Peanuts,” named after their son. With every loan from Shirley was able to grow and expand her business from a mobile vending stall to a formal operation that generates more than PHP 300,000 (USD 6,250) per month and employs members of 15 families in her community.

“It is amazing and fulfilling to touch others’ lives in [a] simple and humble way. I pray that God will continue to shower us His blessings so that I can continue to help others in my community. After all, it’s God who gave me Project Dungganon, Fritzie and Fritzie’s, so I really thank Him always.”

In 2009, she was awarded the Masikap Award by the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, in recognition of her accomplishments.


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