A loan of $2,900 helped a member to purchase reams of office paper to make photocopies and to do maintenance on her printer.

Granito De Arena Group's story

This communal bank is called “Granito de Arena” [Little Grain of Sand]. It is made up of 18 entrepreneurs who make their livings in different areas, including selling vegetables, running a mini-market, operating a hair salon, selling clothing, selling jewelry, perfumes and toys, among other businesses. They are all from the city of Chillán.

Edith is a member of the communal bank. In the photo, she is standing in the front row, fourth from the right. She wears glasses; her hair is pulled back; and she is wearing a printed black, white and calypso blue shirt.

She makes her living running a stationery store. Here she offers items and services for students, including school supplies and photocopies. She has been working in this area for the past 5 years.

Her business is located inside her home, because she has converted the living room into a store. Her work schedule is all day long until 1 a.m. every day of the week, including holidays.

With the loan, she will purchase reams of office paper to take photocopies, and she will do maintenance on her printer.

Her short-term goal for her business is to stock it with merchandise. Her long term goal is to convert it into a minimarket.

Edith lives with her husband and her two children, 22 and 17. She comments that her older son is studying to be a computer science engineer (5th year) and her daughter is still in school.

One of her personal dreams is to have a better quality of life, which will provide tranquility to her family.

Her motivation to continue her business is that she hopes to have an economically peaceful old age, since Edith is an accountant by trade and her retirement will not cover her family expenses. Therefore, this business is designed as a stable, enduring source of income.

She is very happy and greatful for the opportunity provided by Fondo Esperanza, because it allows her to have economic capital to invest in her business and prosper. With regards to the group in her communal bank, she comments that they are very pleasant and committed.

Chillán is a town in the south central area of Chile. Its name means “seat of the sun” in Mapudungun, the language of the Mapuche indigenous people. Chillán is known as the “Birthplace of the Fatherland” or “Land of the Artists,” due to the fact that distinguished characters in the history of Chile were born here, for example the well-known pianist Claudio Arrau.

In this group: Edith, Paola, Graciela, Jenny, Claudia, Mariana, Laura, Sarita, Elsa, Susana, Cristina, Pamela, Karina, Deysi, Jessica, Karen, Etelvina, Balbina

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Christina Marie

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