A loan of $7,750 helped a member to buy eggs, raisins, oil, gas, flour, butter, salt, and napkins.

Mayllen Group's story

This communal bank, Mayllen, is made up of 17 entrepreneurs who make a living in various sectors, including a bakery, meat pie and "sopaipilla" [fried pastry] sales, clothing sales, lingerie, market merchants, wrapping paper sales, watch and bracelet sales, services, and other activities. All of them are from the community of Conchalí, located in the city of Santiago.

María is a member of the communal bank. In the photo she's standing in the first row, the third from the left, wearing a dark blue t-shirt. Her dark-brown hair is on the short side, and she's wearing sunglasses on her head.

María has made a living for four years with a bakery. She says she works in a space she rents across from her house. She makes bread, meat pies, and sopaipillas. She makes home deliveries and her busiest sales days are the weekends. She buys the merchandise and supplies she needs in various supermarkets and distributors, where she gets most of her supplies at a low cost, so it's economically fair.

With the loan she'll buy eggs, raisins, oil, gas, flour, butter, salt, and napkins.

One of María's goals is to continue in the field and grow more every day, increasing her sales and adding other food products for her customers. This way she'll have a better quality of life. María lives with her three children, ages 21, 14, and 9, and a granddaughter, age 1.

She's very grateful for and happy about the opportunity from Fondo Esperanza because it opened the door to a job. It also will allow her to invest in her business and her personal development, because she has learned to better organize her income and investments. With regard to the communal bank group of which she's a member, she says there's very good communication.

Conchalí is a community in the northern part of the Santiago Metropolitan Region (location of Santiago, the capital of Chile). It has a defined industrial area and many smaller-scale economic and commercial activities, including street markets, craft workshops, garages, bus terminals, and others. The microenterprise sector is very relevant to the commercial activity of the community.

In this group: Maria, Edith, Adela, Denisse, Alejandra, Tatiana, Daniela, Stephanie, Miriam, Juana, Luisa, Maria, Silvana, Olga, Paola, Paola, Rosa

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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