Nubia with her hand-crafted gift bags.
In Nubia’s small neighborhood of Verbenal Sur, Colombia people look for any paying work they can find. Plagued with material poverty and battered by the ever-present wind and cold, day-to-day life in the mountain village can prove quite challenging. Given the economic and social barriers the hardworking residents face, Nubia was thrilled to land a job for a gift bag company when she was just 15 years old. She assembled bags from home and shipped them back to the company.
Building on her new skills, she eventually launched her own business making and selling hand-crafted gift bags. She started slowly, but Nubia joined an Opportunity Trust Group to give her fledgling business a jump start. She received a loan and was thrilled when she began training to improve her business skills.
Nubia invested her first Opportunity loan to purchase raw materials in bulk at much cheaper prices. Before long, she more than doubled her inventory and was able to purchase a used car to conduct business and make deliveries, opening the doors for her to achieve a whole new level of success. She even started creating birthday bags and packing them with treats to attract new customers. Today, Nubia’s business is a family affair. Her husband works as the salesman seeking out stores to sell her products, and at Christmastime, when sales are highest, Nubia hires 3-4 more people to deal with the seasonal rush.
Nubia has a dream to create employment opportunities for her whole family and even more neighbors. She envisions everyone working together to create their own brand and line of party supplies. Her oldest son is a talented artist, so Nubia hopes that he will eventually work as a designer – empowering them to create their own unique products. Her other two kids are still discovering their interests and skills, but she is confident that she can find a role for them in the family business if they desire. Eventually, Nubia hopes to save enough to purchase a plot of land to build a family store and home, a dream she is confident she will be able to achieve thanks to the support of Opportunity.
Nubia at her workstation in her home.