This is Lisbeth’s second loan with Fundacion Mujer. Her first was for 1,000,000 colones over twenty-four months and was dispersed in 2003. Lisbeth owned a corner store but, unfortunately, she had to close down the project because three mini-supermarkets opened in close proximity to her small store. The competition was too much and she was crowded out of the market.
Not to be deterred by the breakdown of her first enterprise, Lisbeth has since opened a beauty salon named “Lisbet’s Salon”. She has two years of experience working in salons and so, five months ago, she decided to open her own business. For the last five months, she has been working hard to keep the salon profitable.
Business hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. Lisbeth works alone in her salon and offers a range of services including manicures, pedicures, haircuts and hair extensions. In a good month she earns 400,000; in bad months 160,000. The loan officer that has been working with Lisbeth describes her as hardworking with a fighting spirit and a strong history of punctual repayments.The current loan will be used to invest in her new business.
Lisbeth is applying for this loan to reinforce her working capital. She will use the loan to invest in general activities conducive to the growth of her salon. This last year was hard on business but in January her products and services have become popular in her community.
Specifically, Lisbeth will use this loan to buy a swivel chair to replace her old one in an effort to provide better service to her clients. She will also use the loan to purchase various products necessary for hair alterations, manicures and pedicures. Lisbeth says her only obstacle is economic.
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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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