A Quest to Thrive: The Profile of Israel Meléndez

As Head of Finance at CREDATEC, ENLACE’s credit union and sister organization in El Salvador, Israel Meléndez, 30, is the first person to acknowledge that there is much more to his job than providing small business loans to hardworking, poor entrepreneurs. “My role,” says Israel, "is not only to offer loans, but also to offer friendship to clients and to be someone they can count on...What I love most is motivating and coaching entrepreneurs and having the satisfaction of seeing that, with God's help and the support of CREDATEC, their businesses thrive."

Dreaming big despite humble beginnings is something of a theme for Israel. He was born in a rural community to small-scale farmers and despite their poverty, he had big plans. He worked his way through High School as a janitor at an elementary school, often sleeping on the couch when his work schedule became overloaded. As a recent High School graduate, he landed a job with a local development organization as a credit officer where he learned how to work with small business owners by providing loans. While working there, Israel heard about CREDATEC and got excited about the fact that he could help people grow their businesses with loans and technical assistance but also minister to them spiritually. He joined the CREDATEC team in June 2006. Soon after he began an MBA in Finance.

According to Ron Bueno, ENLACE’s director, “One of Israel’s greatest strengths is his innovative approach to marketing and sales. He also listens carefully to clients in order to help them create a solid plan that will grow their businesses.”