The name of Blanca´s business is "Confecciones M." (M. Apparel). Blanca makes and alters clothing. Her specialty is creating children's pajamas. She makes more profit from selling pajamas than from other types of clothing. She also makes women’s clothes (blouses, skirts) and offers various customized products.
Blanca sells her clothes to a distributor who comes to her home in Santa Barabara every 15 days. The distributor purchases children’s pajamas (for ages 12 and under) and women’s clothing to sell throughout Costa Rica. Blanca has been in this business for 20 years. She opened her business with an initial investment of 125,000 colones from loans from a friend and her sister. In a good month, she can earn 500,000 colones; in a bad month, only 300,000. Blanca plans to use this loan to purchase raw materials and invest in a new sewing machine.
Blanca has been sewing all her life. She has been making clothes for as long as she can remember. She is a hard-working woman who dedicates 12 hours each day to her business. The income she earns from sewing is the only source of income for her family. Her goal is to open a boutique where she can sell children's clothes.
Due to the high costs of raw materials, Blanca has not been able to re-invest in her business. Her lack of necessities, such as elastic, fabrics, sewing thread, and other raw materials, have hampered her businesses growth. This loan will enable Blanca to purchase larger quantities of raw materials from her suppliers in San Jose. By purchasing in volume, she is confident that she will be able to secure better prices. With this loan, Blanca hopes to generate more income and provide a higher standard of living for her children.
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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.
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