MMDC-assisted women’s trading center continues to flourish
Norverta Ating, 52, happy and content that she is able to make ends meet for her family by being a store attendant in MMDC-assisted women’s trading center in Cantilan, one of MMDC’s host communities.
When women are empowered, families thrive and communities prosper.
This holds true for members of the Cabangahan Women’s Association (CWA) in Brgy. Cabangahan, Cantilan, Surigao Del Sur, who have steadfastly grown their business three years after Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) organized them and provided them seed capital.
CWA utilized the PHP129,000 capital—sourced from the livelihood component of MMDC’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) for 2015—to establish a trading center where villagers can buy their basic needs.
Three years on, the trading center has become a go-to store selling everyday items from cooking oil to rice, with average monthly sales of around PHP199,000 per month, says 52-year old Norverta Ating, the store attendant.
CWC’s membership also ballooned from 50 to 400—practically all women in the village are now members of the association.
When MMDC visited the trading center late last month, Ating said the store had an inventory of around PHP211,000 worth of goods.
Ating said the trading center has come a long way since they started selling their first batch of goods, which totaled PHP26,000 sourced from their members’ contribution.
CWC members, she said, had decided to use MMDC’s seed capital exclusively to build the store, buy a refrigerator and a weighing scale—and that CWA members were too eager to put in their own money as counterpart so that everyone can have a sense of ownership of the business.
Because everyone had a stake in the business, Ating said the store has been managed efficiently. They also decided to offer small loans for members. To complement the store’s income and make the lending scheme sustainable, members agreed to shell out PHP20 a month.
From the store’s net profits and the income from the association’s micro-lending, Ating said each member can get an average of PHP2,000 in yearly dividends.
“The yearly dividends may be small when you look at the figure, but the real value is in the assurance that you can borrow money when you need it,” Ating said in the dialect. Villagers, she said, are also thankful they need not go to the town center to buy their daily needs.
Ating said the store has been a blessing to the community—especially for her, the lone breadwinner as her husband has been paralyzed for years now. Her PHP4,500 monthly salary as store attendant, she said, is a big help to make both ends meet.
She is also thankful that her son, Jason, an MMDC scholar, has already graduated from college this year.
“Jason just graduated with a degree in Criminology. After giving him scholarship, MMDC even spent for his board exams. We’re truly grateful that MMDC operates in our town. Honestly speaking, the company plays a crucial part in our lives that it’s hard to imagine how we will survive without Marcventures,” a grateful Ating expressed.