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Areas of Expertise

Informal Economy

Informal Economy
© ILO/M. Crozet

Woman entrepreneur, sari sari store - Riza

Riza Mae runs a sari-sari store. She buys the supplies early in the morning and sells at a road side stall in her local community. She did not have much schooling but since she had small capital she decided to start this income activity, despite intense competition from other women doing similar work. She recently had her fourth child after a difficult pregnancy. As a result she had to stop her income activities while she recovered. Her husband lives and works in a nearby province and can only send money intermittently through trusted acquaintances. When she stopped working,  it resulted in a serious income shock for her family and she relied heavily on the support of neighbours and friends. She has now restarted her business, but since she lacked collateral and was intimidated by commercial banks, she uses the services of a money lender with exorbitant interest rates. Although she is reluctant to do so, she is considering taking her 10 year old daughter out of school to look after the younger children, so that Riza Mae can devote more time to earning an income. Riza Mae has never had business training, and does not even think of herself as an entrepreneur. She has never considered registering her enterprise or joining a cooperative

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