Similar to the story of many low income individuals in Costa Rica, and across the world, Juana has found it impossible to obtain approval for a business loan from the local bank in Corredores. The bank requires a guarantor of a loan to be someone who is not part of her immediate family. Juana does not know any suitable guarantors, with a steady income and a secure job, other than her husband. From Juana´s perspective, the rules of the formal banking system have had the effect of excluding her from the financial services she seeks.
In an effort to extend the reach of financial services to deserving entrepreneurs, Fundacion Mujer proposes to lend Juana 500,000 colons (around $862 US), with her husband as the loan guarantor. This will be her second loan with Fundacion Mujer. Juana received her first loan in 2008 for 100,000 colons ($173 US) which was repaid from her business earnings, on time and in full, within 6 months.
With this loan, Juana plans to purchase raw materials such as cloth and necklace parts in an effort to expand her jewellery and clothes-selling business. Recently, many of Juana’s regular clients have inquired about the possibility of purchasing shoes. She would like to satisfy this demand and expand her business by providing quality footwear to her clients. She will use this loan to buy shoes from a contact in Panama to sell from her home in Costa Rica. Juana dreams of expanding her business and earning more money so she can provide a better standard of living for her family. She says that since starting her business 2 years ago, her self-confidence has increased. Juana is now a strong believer in her ability to improve living conditions for her family through her determination and hard work.
Your contribution is a direct investment in the betterment of the lives of families living in a poor community of southern Costa Rica. By lending to Juana, a hard-working entrepreneur, you are enabling her to build towards a higher standard of living. On behalf of Juana and her family, we thank you for your support.
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In Costa Rica, funding for microfinance institutions is hard to come by, and many institutions find themselves having difficulty growing and reaching all the demand for loans that exist. Kiva works with Fundacion Mujer because it attends a very marginalized population in Costa Rica, with a specific focus on women. In addition to the loan, Fundacion Mujer provides specialized training programs for their borrowers on everything from computer classes to salon training. Because of the difficulty in obtaining capital in Costa Rica, Fundacion Mujer cannot serve all the women that need loans. Therefore Kiva plays a unique role in helping Fundacion Mujer grow its portfolio and reach borrowers it otherwise would not be able to.
About Fundacion Mujer:Fundación Mujer is an organization specializing in the financial and personal development of female entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. They seek to reach underserved populations that may include indigenous communities, immigrants, refugees, victims of domestic violence or women living with HIV/AIDS. Fundación Mujer offers courses in both business and personal development, as well as training in concrete skills such as sewing and other crafts.
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