A Tribute to Women Entrepreneurs and Those Who Help Them Progress

by Développement international Desjardins (DID)

Not so long ago, Yuderka Paulino worked in a barber shop where she had to rent the chair on which her customers would pass by. She was the only female employee in the shop. Today, this bold entrepreneur has her own hairdressing salon, D. Angelys, where she works with her mother and her assistant Angelica.

Thanks to the Centro Financiero Empresarial set up by Développement international Desjardins (DID) in Panama, Yuderka got the financing she needed to acquire the necessary equipment and to pay the rental of her premises. “There is lot of competition in this sector, but I found a place where there is less. However, you must treat the customer well! “, she says. Yuderka appreciates the friendly service she receives at the Centro Financiero Empresarial. “I am always well received at the Centro. I feel they understand my goals and are there to help me reach them”, she says. “I would gladly recommend this financial institution to my close ones”.

Yuderka sees the future with optimism and has several new projects in mind. First, she would like to renovate and improve her hairdressing salon. She would also like to open new ones, and even to set up a car painting workshop which would offer work to the members of her family as well as other members of her community. “One always has goals, ” she concludes with a smile.

Militza Ambulorio is part of the Centro’s team as Chief of credit. Having long worked in support of Panamanian indigenous women, she continues today to help women conquer autonomy by assisting them in the start-up and growth of their own small business.

“When I contemplate my experience working with women entrepreneurs, I feel proud and have the satisfaction of having contributed to the sustainability of their businesses and a better quality of life for their family”, she says. “My job can be very demanding (and tiring!) and it requires a lot of dedication, but the reward is great when I am with a client and able to confirm once more that we comply with our slogan “We help you grow”. For example, when a client invites me to visit her shop or salon telling me that she has just paid the last installment of her loan, I then feel indescribable pride, and this is what gives my work its meaning”, she explains. “Some women even call me to inform me or ask for my advice when they want to change something in their business. To me, this is very rewarding.”

“The Centro Financiero Empresarial has a growing loan portfolio. Every day we strive to make it as healthy as possible. We aim at helping people and their businesses grow. In turn, I also grow by learning from my clients, day after day. Each loan offers me a new opportunity to learn and my commitment is to return that learning to all individuals who need it”, Militza concludes.

DID salutes the audacity and tenacity of all women who, like Yuderka and Militza, participate concretely in the construction of a more egalitarian world.

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