Owner of four grocery shops in different remote villages of Kaluga region in Central Russia, Vasiliy was born in 1972 in a large family of an industrial porcelain manufacturing plant worker. When thte little boy turned 5, the farther died so his mother brought up six children on her own. It was her example that helped Vasiliy to stand up to challenges and never be discouraged by difficulties later on.
It wasn’t from the beginning of his carrier that he had been a businessman. After his graduation from pedagogical college in 1991 he worked as a rural school teacher for 8 years. He loved his job, however, as he married and became a father of two sons it became clear that a teacher’s salary was far from enough to support the family. So Vasiliy decided to try his hand at entrepreneurship.
Started at the end of 1999 as a street stall vendor in his native village market selling diary products. When in 2002 Vasiliy had grown his business to the point of to opening a small shop, he didn’t have enough money to equip a recently purchased small building in his native village.
Vasiliy decided to apply for a loan. He had noticed WMN advertising panel several times when he would come to Kaluga to purchase goods for his business. As applying for a bank loan involved too long a procedure, Vasilyi turned to WMN. Mr. Aleksanin spent his first 12-month loan in the amount of RUB 50,000 (USD1,600) collaterized by the business inventory for the purchase of used equipment. The shop turned out to be a success, so right after paying off the first loan Vasilyi applied for the second one. This time it was a 100,000-ruble loan aimed at opening the second shop in the neighboring village. To date Vasiliy has successfully repaid 7 loans with the last two loans being in the amount of RUB 350,000. At present the Aleksanin family runs 4 shops in different villages of Kaluga region, which they proudly call “Beriozka network”.
At present Vasiliy Aleksanin is paying off his 8th loan in the amount of RUB500,000 which he took out at the end of 2008. This is the first loan he has taken not for the business purposes, but to build a new house for his growing family: Vasiliy has recently become a farther of a third son.
Natalia Vitrik has been an owner of a small beauty shop in the Russian town of Ludinovo since 2002. Before moving to Russia at the end of the 90s her family lived in Kazakhstan. She and her husband worked at the Sokolov-Sarbai ore concentration plant in the town of Rudnyi, however, after the collapse of the Soviet Union Kazakh enterprises offered no good opportunities for Russian specialists, and the Vitriks, like many Russian people, were forced to leave Kazakhstan in search of better employment in Russia. Natalia’s husband found a good job in Ludinovo and soon the family settled there.
Natalia, being an energetic woman and an optimist wouldn’t put up with her new status of a housewife in Ludinovo. Moreover, only one salary of Natalia’s husband wasn’t enough to support a family with two teenage children.
A chance encounter with a Faberlic cosmetics firm manager during a cosmetics fair in Moscow gave her an idea to open a small beauty shop. Natalia took several training courses on the professional use of the Faberlic cosmetics, concluded agreements with Faberlic on the cosmetics supply. However, the premises rented for new business necessitated redecoration and adjustment for the needs of the beauty shop.
The family didn’t have extra money to make the investment, so Natalia’s noticing of WMN’s advertising panel on the nearby building wall was quite timely. In March and in April 2002 Natalia applied for two consecutive two-month loans in the amount of just RUB 3,000 (less then $100) each for the purposes of laying on water supply to the business premises and purchase of interior finishing materials. Later that year Natalia also received a 5,000-ruble loan for the purchase of the showcase and a 8,000-ruble loan for the purchase of a new lot of goods.
Natalia has been WMN’s borrower ever since. To date she repaid 20 loans without a single day of delinquency. She has applied for both small loans for working capital increase and for bigger loans for investment purposes. In order to boost her business and attract new clients, Natalia purchased new equipment and extended the range of services offered by her beauty shop. Cooperation with WMN enabled Ms. Vitrik to increase the business assets 30-fold, build a loyal clientele, significantly contribute to the welfare of the family and last but not least realize her dreams, find an outlet for her energy and ideas.