Total loan: $2,000


Oakland, CA, United States / Retail

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A loan helped to buy flowers and new inventory for the Valentine's Day season.

Maria's story

I was born in Ecuador and came to the United States in 1985. I was the first in my family to come to the US without any family here and speaking absolutely no English. On my way here, I spoke to a woman who told me about an organization who hired cleaning houses. I dedicated myself to this job for the first few years living here. A decade later, in 1993, my daughter was born and I stopped working in households for our health. I had to take care of my daughter and I began to work selling on the side of the street. I used to hand knit hats and scarves and sell them. I would also attend flea markets and festivals. After three years I decided to start selling flowers. I enjoy working with flowers because I've always had a passion for them and it also allowed me to sustain myself and my daughter without having to leave her side. I started creating my own business without any experience, however, throughout the years I have collected knowledge and I am ready to run a self sustaining business.