Profits Can Come from Small Packages

Eight years ago, Mrs. Elma Garan and her husband both lost their jobs. Subsequently, to support their five children, they started a business of delivering bread and fish to sari-sari (small grocery) stores and fish stalls in the Santo Tomas Public Market in Mindanao. The couple barely made a profit from their business, since they did not have the means to increase their inventory and sell to more customers. “We knew we had to do something so our business would grow, but we did not have enough money to expand. Our earnings were just enough for our family’s needs”, recounts Mrs. Garan.

To supplement their income, Mrs. Garan decided to start another business. Aware of the local practice of buying tingi-tingi (repackaged small retail items), she decided to buy goods in bulk and repack them in smaller quantities sized for household consumption. Housewives on a tight budget frequently look for …

Cooking Up Business Success


Until recently, the income of the Pido family had been enough for their needs. Mr. and Mrs. Pido both had regular jobs at Mindanao State University – which is in Marawi City, in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Mrs. Amina Pido was an office clerk while her husband worked as a security guard. But with all their seven children reaching school age and enrolled in school, the additional, mounting expenses for their children’s education forced Mrs. Pido to look for a way to earn additional income. Being a long-time university employee, Mrs. Pido knew that students were always on the lookout for affordable meals. Because her family lived inside the university campus, she decided to set up a carinderia (small restaurant) that would cater to students.

Mrs. Pido bought several tables and chairs, converted a portion of her front porch into a dining area, …