Nelfa is part of the communal bank “Vida Nueva” (New life) and resides in the commune of Longaví. For the past five years, Nelfa has sold firewood and charcoal with her husband's help. Prior to this business, Nelfa operated a restaurant for 15 years from her house, the same space she now uses for her merchandise sales.
With this loan, Nelfa plans to purchase more firewood and charcoal. Nelfa's dreams are to operate a grocery store, selling confections, fruit and vegetables. Her short-term goal is to fix her storefront, as it was damaged by the past earthquake on February 27.
For Nelfa, the loan services provided by Kiva partner Fondo Esperanza have helped to keep her business afloat; she especially enjoys the lessons on business administration.
Longaví is a commune in the Maule Region, central Chile. Its name in Mapudungun (the Mapuche language) stands for “snake head.” It's primarily a farming community situated between mountains, foothills and more mountains of lush natural beauty. Its highest point is Mount Longaví, with 3,242 meters of altitude.
About Fondo Esperanza
Fondo Esperanza (FE) is a private non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurship by providing micro-credit and training to people living in poverty in well over 100 cities throughout Chile. By providing these services, FE aims to improve the living conditions of the entrepreneurs and their families. In 2010, FE provided loans to more than 41,000 entrepreneurs. It utilizes a communal banking model in which groups of 18 to 25 clients meet on regularly and guarantee each other’s loans. The members use their portion of the loan to create or expand their own businesses. In the group meetings, clients receive training though the FE Entrepreneurship School, which enhances clients’ personal and business skills and ability to work in groups.