Meriam Fernandez lives in Almeria, Philippines with her husband, Arnoldo, and their two children. Meriam prides herself on her entrepreneurial adventurism, running her own local convenience store and hog-raising business. However, with her children growing older and considerations like school tuition becoming part of the family budget, Meriam knew she would need to do more to grow her businesses’ potential. Self-taught as she was though, she didn’t know how best to approach her goals and couldn’t afford a misstep on her way. Meriam wasn’t afraid of the risk—but practicality had to take the front seat. When friends introduced Meriam to the programs offered through Opportunity International, she saw the avenue for growth she was hungry for. Meriam received valuable financial training and a small loan to help her with her plans. Meriam applied her lessons to adopting more efficient management practices and was able to safely balance her expansion between her two businesses. Confidence has always been a strength, but now Meriam has the learning and funding safety-net to support her ambitions.