After her 10-year marriage ended in divorce, Toktosunova Jumagul Tagaikulovna moved back to her native village, Saray, in the Karasu region. Left with three children to look after, Toktosunova made her children’s education and upbringing her priority. Committed to becoming financially independent, she decided to start her own business rather than work as a salaried employee. She first took a loan from FINCA, with which she built a small stall, as well as two additional bank loans in order to support her business. In 2005, Toktosunova was first introduced to the First MicroCredit Company Kyrgyzstan. The attractive conditions and low interest rates convinced her to take out a loan of KGS 25,000 ($500). This loan was solely was dedicated to purchase and diversify her products, but ended up being sufficient enough to buy store space, build up inventory and supply additional capital. Toktosunova did not need to take out parallel loans elsewhere, and her small, informal stall grew into a large shop in the central city market and business significantly increased. Toktosunova is now on her eighth enterprise loan with FMCC, the most recent one for KGS 100,000 ($1800). All loans have been invested in her growing business. Her financial position has been secured, and she has been able to sell her old apartment and build a new house. Her thriving business also allows her to play an active role in supporting her family and social obligations, including weddings, birthdays, and supporting her grandchildren. She has also been able to save money and to invest in her health. Living alone – her son is in Russia with his family and her daughters are married –Toktosunova is extremely happy with her business. Even though her son could financially support her, she likes to work and keep herself busy. She is grateful to have become part of the FMCC family, and looks forward to becoming a member of the loyalty programme. She is also excited to celebrate Women’s Day as a financially independent, strong woman, and plans to continue to expand her business further.