Lyra Mae Alarcon lives in Isabela, Philippines, with her husband, Mark Anthony. To provide for the family, Lyra Mae operates a small general store, and her husband works as a day laborer. Despite the couple’s hard work, they have struggled to escape poverty. Without sufficient capital to invest in her store, Lyra Mae couldn’t grow her business, and her income remained low. Lyra Mae found the solution to her financial troubles when a neighbor encouraged her to join Opportunity International. Lyra Mae was hesitant to partner with Opportunity because she didn’t feel confident in her business skills. But after completing financial literacy training, Lyra Mae received her first loan, and she hasn’t looked back since. The loan provided the small economic boost she needed to improve her store, and Lyra Mae has increased her income. She says she is pleased to see her business’ growth, mainly because she can help others through her own success. Now, Lyra Mae is encouraging her friends and relatives to join Opportunity so that they, too, can apply for loans and start their own businesses. Looking forward, Lyra Mae plans to apply for a second loan to redo the appearance of her shop and attract even more customers.