When reduced hours at a retail job made it tough for this San Ildefonso Pueblo mother to support her children despite help from public assistance, Liana Sanchez resolved to start a business that could bring jobs and prosperity to her family and fellow tribal members.
The result is Avanyu, LLC, a pueblo-based construction company that is winning six-figure contracts and employing more than a dozen people from San Ildefonso and surrounding communities. Liana tapped into her family’s talents and focused on her community’s needs. Her brother-in-law, Mateo Peixinho, a contractor, had been eager to start a business that would allow him to pursue environmentally friendly building projects and explore "green" construction techniques.
Initially, the biggest challenge facing Avanyu was capital. Bank financing was not an option for a general contracting firm without business history.
Liana contacted ACCION, and we recognized her entrepreneurial drive and dedication. By the end of 2005, ACCION had loaned the Avanyu team a total of $40,000 in start-up capital. They were able to establish business and credit history with ACCION financing and have since been able to move on to traditional financing, working with a local bank on continued growth. They are among the many ACCION clients who are able to access the traditional financial sector after participating in ACCION’s lending program.
"Avanyu gave me the chance to do what I’ve wanted to do for a long time – work for native people," Liana says.
Liana Sanchez builds opportunity for pueblo communities in New Mexico.