Irene, 32, has been with Emprender for nearly 9 years, since 1999. At that time Irene lived with her family in a one-room house. The one room served as the bedroom, the kitchen and the living area. Her husband worked as a driver, and Irene ran a market stall selling grocery items. Irene approached Emprender to gain access to working capital loans. Her first loan of US$ 90 was a group-based loan. She now has an individual loan of US$ 3,000. She’s never worked with any other micro-finance institutions or bank, as she doesn’t have the collateral to be able to borrow money from a commercial bank. Irene has taken out 18 successive loans with Emprender. She has used these loans to stock her market stall and increase the variety of products she sells. With her business skill and access to working capital, she has been able to open 2 more market stalls. Three market stalls means three times the income. Irene also used one of the loans to buy a used car. She used some of her savings generated by her expanded business, and took out a loan for the rest of the amount. Her husband has now quit his job as a driver and now runs his own small taxi business with the car. In 2005, Irene took out another loan to upgrade the car. The taxi business is another income generator for Irene’s family. The current loan of US$ 3,000 is being used to build a house for her family. At last Irene can live in a house with a real kitchen!