With dirt still in her fingernails from digging in her garden, Victoria proudly displays her produce—green and red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans.
Six years ago, Victoria used her first loan from Invest-Credit, HOPE’s partner in Moldova, to buy the frame structure for her greenhouse. She uses it to grow produce, which she sells to retailers in bulk. The greenhouse enables her to continue growing produce throughout the cold winter months, thus increasing her profit.
With her business off the ground, Victoria now uses loans to buy high-quality seeds imported from Holland. Her family also raises chickens and ducks for their own consumption, keeping their family’s expenses low by making use of the extra space on their property.
Unfortunately, currency devaluation in Moldova has kept the price for Victoria’s produce low. One of the poorest countries in Europe, 21.9 percent of Moldovans live below the poverty line, vulnerable to constant economic shocks. In recent months, Moldova’s economy has felt the regional effects of Russia’s instability, with the Moldovan leu inflating at a rate of 5.1 percent.
But with Invest-Credit’s help, Victoria has been able to keep her business strong, despite fluctuating market prices. And the fragile economy can’t stop Victoria from imagining a better future for the next generation of her family. Victoria’s loan officer, Alexei, counsels her on everything from business to parenting. Like all Invest-Credit loan officers, Alexei prays that the Lord would provide opportunities for him to share his faith with each client he serves.
Victoria’s entrepreneurial spirit has helped her provide for her two children, a 15-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son. Her daughter, a ninth-grade student, is deciding between pursuing violin performance or a career as a customs officer. Her son works in a furniture business.
“My dream is to be able to support my children in whatever their dreams are and whatever their passions are,” Victoria says. “I just want to be able to have the resources to support them.”