A little goes a long way

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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MAKING IT BIG FROM A SMALL LOAN: Leiasina Samu, 47, from the village of Vailele

MAKING IT BIG FROM A SMALL LOAN: Leiasina Samu, 47, from the village of Vailele

When done right, a little does go a long way.

This much is true for Leiasina Samu, from the village of Vailele who has done wonders with her $1,000 loan she made to start a roadside stall.

Aged 47, Leiasina can be spotted on the Vailele roadside tending to her small market stall selling a variety of crops to those passing by.

“I started off with a loan of $1,000 from S.P.B.D. to develop this little business of mine,” she told the Village Voice.

“The crops I sell are both from the family plantation and what we get from the market which we sell at a small profit.”

“My small business provides a bit of money for the family as well as food for the table. Right now we have made so much more profit than that $1,000 we loaned.”

According to Leiasina, her family earns quite a bit from crop sales.

“This is a good business for my family and we earn good money here,” she said.

“On good days like Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we would make about $400 from crop sales. On Sunday we would make about $200 because we don’t open up the whole day.”

“We just open early in the morning and close at around 9am when it’s time for church. We do so to give people a chance to buy what they need for their Sunday meals.”

“We also sell firewood which sells really well but it’s already been cleared out to families who need them for their fa’alavelaves.”

Leiasina is also certain that the earning they get from their stall is way more than most make through minimum wage.

“My husband was working before but he left that job because he said the money we make from our stall business is enough,” she said.

“My husband said its better off not working because the money we make from the stall in a day is the same he would make in a week.”

“Even with some of our items being bought from the market, we still make a lot of profit from them and we earn way more than many employed people.”

“Most of our sales are from cars that drive past.”

Leiasina agrees that the cost of living has been increasing a lot but she also stated that it’s understandable due to duty tax on imports.

Other than that, the hardworking mother says there are no problems faced by her family right now.

“We aren’t going through many problems here in the village,” Leiasina said.

“I do have some neighbors who come and ask for something for their meals then I just give it to them. It’s no problem at all for me. I never sell on credit. I just give to those who are in need of it. I can’t think of any struggles we are having.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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