Maria’s business began in 1998 when she took over the small general store that her mother was running. Small general stores are called “pulperias” here in Nicaragua and are very common. One street may have three or four within a couple of blocks. Because they are characteristically located in homes, the stores are dotted throughout neighborhoods and provide convenient access to daily use items. Though there is a good customer base, there is a lot of competition for these stores.
Maria says that her business has grown little by little and because of it, she has been able to improve her house and generally improved her quality of life. Maria dreams of having a large store that she can pass on to her children so that they will have a way to support themselves.
Fundación Leon 2000This loan is administered by Fundación Leon 2000. Fundación Leon 2000 began operations in 1993 as the first microfinance institution to serve the western part of Nicaragua, a country which continues to be one of the poorest in the western hemisphere. Fundación Leon 2000 works to further the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises through credit services and management, applying the best credit industry practices and technical expertise. Additionally, Fundación Leon manages several business and financial education programs in the community, specifically for young entrepreneurs and at-risk youth. Fundación Leon 2000’s group of experienced and dedicated employees works in 7 offices in Leon, Chinandega, Chichigalpa, Somotillo, Jinotepe, El Sauce, and Nagarote and serves several thousand clients (the majority of whom are women).
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