I am a dental technician. I worked at the Antenor University Orrego for four years to save enough money to open my own lab. I finally did in 2017. In 2018, I participated in the Academy Awards at the Academy for Creating Enterprise. The Academy Awards program is a competition for members. We present our business to a panel of judges and have the opportunity to receive a cash prize. In 2018, I received second prize in the women’s category. With my prize money, I purchased a high speed motor for my lab. This motor ensured my prosthetics were the highest-quality. I gained a regular client base and had consistent work. My husband was also working steadily. We felt the future looked promising.
When the pandemic hit, the university terminated my services. Suddenly, my loyal customers were gone. Without customers, I faced the painful decision of closing my dental laboratory. However, my family held onto hope that these closures would be short-term. As the days passed, the situation worsened. We were running out of food. We were purchasing everything on credit. Paydays arrived, but we had no way to pay our employees. I had never anticipated that our family would face this situation. I did not know what to do. We prayed often for guidance.
My mother inspired me to refocus my efforts and try something new. She reminded me of other skills I have, particularly cooking chicken milanesas. A chicken milanesa is a breaded chicken filet -- mine are especially tasty. With some fear, I took my mom’s advice and started my milanesa business. I didn’t even have money to buy meat, but I started taking orders from my friends. Someone lent me 20 soles (about five US dollars), and I started my business. My business has grown so much that we are now doing deliveries. Many of our clients also want to come to our house and see how our milanesas are made. We have even given our product a name, “Milangas. Crazy for Milanesas.” I don’t know how many times I have prayed that my customers will like my product. Thankfully, my milanesas consistently receive positive reviews. As I learned at the Academy, I keep detailed records of all our sales and costs to know our actual business profit. We are now paying ourselves a salary. This has allowed us to cover the basic needs of our home. We were also awarded first prize in the “Innovator of the Year” category for the 2020 Academy Awards.
Taking courses at the Academy has allowed me to focus on the top priorities for my business. Additionally, the principles I have learned at help me feel secure as I start my new venture. We thank God that through our fears and afflictions, He has never left us alone. He enlightened our minds with solutions when everything was scarce. He also provided light and resources when things looked bleak for our family. We now use our experience to help other Academy members and encourage them to trust God and live the culture of success.