Roxana is a member of "The Endeavour" Communal Bank from the city of Temuco, Chile. She is the owner of a general store that sells food products, household items, firewood, charcoal, and also has video game machines available for customers to play. She began her business 9 years ago by selling small goods. Her business has prospered and she has been able to expand the merchandise. A large part of her success has been because of serving a large number of dedicated customers. When she first began to sell charcoal and firewood she had to learn to drive, so she would be able to transport the new products to her store.
Her store is located in a leased location close to her home. She buys the majority of her products from wholesalers in Temuco. She will use the loan from Fondo Esperanza to buy merchandise for her store, as well and charcoal and firewood. Her dreams are to continue to grow her business and have a building of her own so she no longer needs to rent space. She has started with plans to construct a store as part of her house and is currently working on the details.
Roxana is married and lives with her husband and two children. Her daughter is 22 years old and studying to be a legal assistant, while her 15 year-old son is currently in high school. Another one of her dreams is to continue to expand her business so she can provide economic stability for her family and improve their quality of life.
She is very happy and grateful for the services provided by Fondo Esperanza. She enjoys the Communal Bank meetings and the other members and she feels there is trust and commitment to each other. As part of the training provided by FE she has learned to record her expenses and income, which has improved the organization of her business.
Temuco is the capital of the region of Araucanía. The city is located 670 km south of Santiago (the capital of Chile). There are a number of lakes (Pucón, Villarrica) located nearby Temuco, as well as parks filled with striking fauna and flora. 50% 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.