Grace Anobling is one of the beneficiaries of DTI's Livelihood Seeding Program-Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay.

Grace Anobling worked in a local photo studio in Iligan City for ten years. While still employed, she started a personal microlending business as her second job.

“Kay ug sweldo lang ang saligan dili mapasaigo jud (If I only relied on my salary, it will not be enough).” Grace said.

But because of health issues, she stopped working in the photo studio and chose instead to continue her business and expanding it to include selling of cosmetic product s and processed food products like longganisa.

Grace had to strive twice as hard because she was breadwinner of the family. She made sure to provide the needs of her siblings whenever they asked for help.

She started her own sari-sari store two years after quitting her job at the local photo studio. But as she was moving toward success with the growing business, a fire hit her store. Nobody offered to help her get back on her feet. She was left with nothing and with no one.

Grace felt lost for a while. Fortunately, a friend offered to lend her money to restart her business. She used it to reengage in microlending and even improved and expanded her sari-sari store until it eventually became a go-to store in the neighborhood in Purok 6 Canaway, Iligan City.

In her years of hard work, Grace learned the importance of calculating risk in every opportunity. So when the pandemic started, she took it as an opportunity instead of a threat.

“Mas ni kusog pa hinoon ang akong sari-sari kay ang mga silingan diri naman mamalit. Labi na nga namaligya mi ug hypo, kusog kaayo to (Business became stronger because my neighbors would buy from the store. Especially when we sold hypo; it was selling like hotcakes).” she shared.

Her captured market gave her an idea to expand her store to offer a wider variety of consumer goods when she received assistance from her barangay through cash and grocery donations.

In addition, Grace also became a beneficiary of the Livelihood Seeding Program-Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

LSP-NSB is a livelihood program by DTI that provides business development assistance to MSMEs affected by natural and human-induced calamities including health disasters arising from epidemics and pandemics.

Under the program, Grace underwent an entrepreneurial seminar and received a livelihood starter kit of grocery items.

“Nakatabang jud kaayo ug dako ang akong mga nadawat sa DTI. Ako dayon tong gi-display diri sa akong tindahan (The livelihood kit from DTI helped me a lot. I immediately displayed the grocery items).” she said.

As she continues to build a successful path for her business, Grace hopes that more deserving business owners like her would receive assistance from DTI.

Not only that, she also added that entrepreneurs should continue to work hard and be wise when saving for the future.

“Mag-kugi lang jud og kung mag-negosyo ug dapat kana jud linya nimo para mas ma ganahan ka (Have perseverance in your business and choose something that is in line with your skill set so that you will always be motivated).” ♦

Date of Release: 7 July 2022