Mentors International perpetually supports small business owners in third-world countries who need a little support in the fight to move from poverty to self-reliance by providing microloans. The average microloan amount is just $117. Often this is how little it takes to help these small business owners increase their income, support their families, grow their business, and build their local economies as well. This is a real story of how your donations can change the lives of struggling individuals.

Imelda Zil (Patzicia, Guatemala)

“A prime example of how microcredit can create a more formal economy in a developing country”

Because Guatemala is a land rich in the production of fruits and vegetables, Imelda and her husband decided to try a wooden crate-making business for the shipping of produce. Starting out, they could make just 25 boxes per day, and their monthly income was only $125. They were still very poor.

Due to the demand for more crates, the need to increase production became urgent. With a $150 microloan she was able to purchase two additional table saws, hire seven more laborers, and increase her production to 350 boxes per day. The couple has gone from a net income of $125 per month to $1,250.

In 2009 Imelda expanded her business again and hired five more full-time employees. Again she has increased her net income to $1800 a month. Her business grosses $169 per day and nets $75. Imelda has not only raised her own family’s standard of living far above her national poverty line, but she has also significantly raised the living conditions of 12 other families.

We invite you to make a donation to Mentors International to help fund microloans for struggling small business owners like Imelda. Visit the Mentors International donation page by clicking here. Your donations are gifts that perpetually give to help strengthen economies, increase jobs, and brighten the futures of many. As loans are repaid, more individuals can benefit.

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