“Nothing ventured, nothing gained”, female Panamanian entrepreneur

At the side of a highway in the Panamanian municipality of Chame is Ada Moreno’s carwash business. If anybody had told this female entrepreneur a few years ago that she would become a boss, she wouldn’t have believed it. She worked as a secretary until the economic crisis hit and she lost her job, as did her husband. But instead of giving up, they both decided to reinvent themselves. They moved to Chame and opened up ‘Car Wash’, an opportunity to build a source of income and contribute to their granddaughters’ upbringing.

Her clients know that whenever they need to wash their car, change the tires or replace their wiper blades, they just have to go to Ada’s premises, because she is open every day, including weekends and holidays.

An employee of ‘Car Wash’ at work

As well as making this service available to the community, she also employs eight of her neighbors– people with limited resources to whom she gives work and a solid meal.

Getting support from Microserfin, BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s institution in Panama, is the opportunity that many entrepreneurs need to move on and rise up: “Microserfin has changed us because now we are better known in the community; now they know how hardworking and resilient we are. I am very grateful to the institution for all the help they have given and are still giving me”, explains Ada.

She urges other women to follow her example and take the step of setting up their own business. “I would tell any woman who wants to become an entrepreneur: don’t be afraid, you have to take the risk. As the saying goes ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

                                                               Cristina González del Pino, Communications BBVAMF