Flora de la Cruz Girón dreamed of starting a business in her community in the Dominican Republic (D.R.). Ideally, the job would allow her and her husband to provide financially for their family, especially while their two children were still young and at home.
While Flora was working one day, selling items along the roadside, a friend invited her to learn more about Esperanza International, a microfinance institution in the D.R. that recently became managed by HOPE International.
Flora followed up on her friend’s invitation, and after learning more, she decided to join Esperanza. Little did Flora know that this would one day lead her to own not one but two successful businesses.
A family decision
After qualifying for a loan through Esperanza, Flora used the capital to purchase clothing and other goods to sell from her home. It didn’t take long for her to realize she wanted to expand her business even more. But to do that, she knew she’d need both family and financial support. So, she called a family meeting and shared her big dream: building two stores next to each other, one a hardware store and the other a variety store to sell furniture, household items, electrical goods, and clothing.
With unanimous support from her husband and two oldest daughters, Flora again worked with Esperanza to access start-up capital. In 2017, construction on both storefronts began.
Learning about God
Even though she doesn’t call herself a Christian yet, through Esperanza Flora has been able to learn more about God, has begun to read the Bible over the past several years, and prays more. She appreciates the prayers of the Esperanza team and would like to start attending a local church.
The impact Esperanza has made extends beyond the four walls of Flora’s businesses. She sells products imported from other countries and her neighbors can buy those products without having to leave the community, making the materials more affordable. As the hardware store expanded, she’s provided jobs for trucking contractors to carry building materials to construction sites.
Supporting youth is one of Flora’s passions—and now she can—by employing them herself or helping find them a job elsewhere. During the pandemic, Flora implemented an online product service and delivery system. The innovation proved so successful that she still offers it, hiring youth to help deliver orders.
A family decision becomes a family business
With income from her businesses, Flora and her husband no longer worry about providing food for their family and were able to put all of their children through school. They’re currently paying tuition for their oldest daughter to attend college.
But Flora says her greatest joy is knowing that she’s provided for her children’s future.
“My greatest achievement is that I have integrated my daughters into the business, so that they can learn about hard work and responsibility.”
Flora’s next dream? She’d like to go to school to become a teacher. She is passionate about one day providing quality education to youth in her community.