Ingrid has a business selling clothing for men, women and children including underwear, blouses and sports clothes. On a monthly basis, Ingrid travels by bus to San Jose in order to purchase clothing. When she returns to her community she sells the clothes she has purchased and earns a profit.
Unfortunately, the income Ingrid generates from sales, combined with her husband’s salary (he works as a laborer on a banana plantation), does not provide enough money to finance family expenses; as a result, Ingrid also works as a house cleaner in order to make ends meet.
To say that Ingrid is a hard worker is an understatement: in the mornings she carries out her duties as a domestic worker; in the afternoons, she works selling her products in her community; and whatever time she has left over is dedicated to her own domestic responsibilities.
In 2008, Ingrid had a bad bike accident when a child’s leg got stuck in her wheel; as a result, she had to take time of from her business in order to recover. Now she is healed and looks forward to dedicating herself to the success of her business.
Ingrid has successfully used previous loans to generate income from her business and used the revenues to make home improvements. This will be Ingrid’s sixth loan with Fundación Mujer. The loan consultant that has been working with Ingrid over the years describes her as a responsible, hard-working woman.
Ingrid plans to use this loan to make general investments in the expansion of her clothing sales business. Specifically, this loan will be used to purchase inventory clothing items and perfumes to sell in her community.
Ingrid’s goal is to use the revenues she earns to improve her standard of living and that of her family. Specifically, she would like to make more home improvements and enable her children to have access to higher education.
Ingrid’s business is successful in the sense that she has a large client base. The problem she faces is a lack of working capital. Ingrid hopes that this loan will enable her to satisfy the needs of her clients by bringing them the products they request.
Ingrid values her business because it provides revenues which are used to finance family expenses and to contribute to her savings.
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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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