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Jamilelhs-tortilla-standJJamilelh-with-her-tortillasamilelh Flores is a tortilla maker and owner of a small roadside stand in Nicaragua selling fast food and natural drinks. She employs three people to help her serve many local customers during the long hours from 5am to 7-8pm. Her most common dishes incorporate tortillas and cheese.

Jamilelh started her business 20 years ago. She had a bad experience with a previous group loan and had to pay money she didn't use to cover the debts of others in the group. "The most difficult part is when you don't have money," Jamilelh openly says. "Once you have the money, you have a beginning."

With an initial loan of $300 from MiCredito, MEDA's microfinance partner in Nicaragua, this single mother of two children changed her family's life. "The loan is a way to help me out with my business, to help me grow."

Now, after nine years as a MiCredito client, Jamilelh has a $1,000 loan and is a responsible businesswoman. "She doesn't miss payments," says Managua Branch Manager Cesia. "She's always on time."

Jamilelh is currently working towards getting her bachelor's degree in Spanish. In the future, she wants to buy a house to accommodate a business and living quarters. "I have plans of growing. I want to have this business, but larger and in a better facility."