In 1993 Carlos started work as a barman at a hotel in Matola, in the Maputo Province. After 4 years he left as he wasn’t able to survive on his monthly salary of MTn 590 (around US$24). Therefore, Carlos started his own business selling used clothes and shoes and then switching to construction material. Today Carlos has a small store in Matola where he sells cement and also rents a store in Boane where he sells cement and roof joists.
Carlos buys the merchandize in the capital city of Maputo (20Km away from Matola and 30Km away from Boane). Cement costs MTn 220 and roof joists MTn 150 -- Carlos sells them for MTn 230 and MTn 200, respectively. Even though roof joists have higher profit margins, Carlos also sells cement beucase it is a faster and guaranteed business, as there is high demand for it. Carlos sells around 150 roof joists per month at the store in Boane’s, but sometimes finds it difficult to retain long term customers.
This will be Carlos’ first loan with Hluvuku and Kiva. During a conversation with a couple of friends he mentioned the lack of working capital to buy inventory and they directed him to Hluvuku. His loan of MTn 14,500 will be used to buy cement and wood in bulk, potentially at a discount. Carlos hopes to increase sales and attract more loyal clients. In the future Carlos would like to build a house in Inhambane. He already has a house in Matola, but would like to have a house in Inhumbane to be close to his family.
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