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Ericka is a 30-year-old mother of two who lives in San Jose, located in the central valley of Costa Rica. She seeks to improve her economic conditions by harnessing her skills in the design and construction of piñatas (papier-mâché containers containing candies and other goodies) and other party materials and through the sale of school supplies. The loan consultant who has been working with Ericka over the past few months describes her as a person with good principles who is seeking to improve her living conditions.

Ericka’s products are used when celebrating events such as marriages, birthdays and communions. Ericka believes that selling school supplies represents an opportunity for her to earn a higher level of income because she lives close to a school and, at the moment, no one else is offering such products for sale.

Ericka has been working over the past ten years in the production and sale of party materials; she started her business with an initial investment of 20,000 colons (approximately 35 USD). She is applying for a loan because she would like to start selling products from her home, as a kind of bazaar. In addition to the party materials she already produces, she has the idea of selling school supplies. This loan will be used to make investments in school supplies and materials necessary to the creation of party materials such as piñatas and handmade invitations.

Ericka makes party materials and piñatas on a per order basis which allows her to customize her products to the needs of her clients. Some of her clients request piñatas in the shape of famous superheroes while others request piñatas resembling famous princesses. Ericka spends, on average, twenty-five hours a week producing and selling her products. Her flexible work schedule allows her to take care of her children and perform domestic duties and allocate the rest of her day to her business.

Ericka’s main obstacle is financial. This loan will provide much needed working capital to get her business off the ground. Additionally, she faces competition in her neighborhood for certain products that she offers. Her goal is to expand her business, secure more clients and earn enough money to finance the studies of her children. In the future she would like to own a store separate from her home where she could sell a variety of products.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

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.

About Costa Rica

  • $12,900
    Average annual income
  • 9
    View loans »
    Costa Rica Loans Fundraising
  • $4,502,650
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 553.7
    Costa Rica Colones (CRC) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $475 helped Ericka to purchase materials necessary for the creation of party products and to buy school supplies to sell.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
17 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Mar 2, 2010
Mar 4, 2010
Currency Exchange Loss:
Dec 15, 2012