Cristian is a member of "The Endeavour" Communal Bank located in the Traiguén neighborhood in the city of Temuco. He has been working as a street vendor for 7 years, selling a variety of products from his car outside of a store. He says that during this time his sales have been very good and he now has a large number of dedicated clients. Cristian also always gives credit to some of his most responsible, and also elderly clients, allowing them to make payments on the goods that they would like to purchase.
Cristian works from 8am to 5pm Monday through Saturday and eats his lunch while working. He prefers to purchase the majority of his merchandise from distributors located in the capital city of Santiago. He did comment that while he prefers to buy in Santiago he incurs more costs to pay for transportation and custody of the products.
Cristian will use the loan to buy new merchandise with the goal of changing some of his current products and restocking; he would also like to start selling some natural remedies. Sales in Traiguén are slower, so he would also like to find a place to sell in the center of Temuco.
Cristian is single and lives with his mother, two brothers and a niece. Their dreams are to travel abroad to experience other cultures and landscapes. He is very happy and grateful for the assistance provided by Fondo Esperanza; he enjoys sharing experiences with other people and has learned new things to help his business.
Temuco is the capital of the region of Araucanía, located 670 km south of Santiago. There are a number of lakes (Pucón, Villarrica) located nearby Temuco, as well as parks filled with striking fauna and flora. Half of the Mapuche indigenous population also lives in this region.
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.