Total loan: $1,025

Patricia Esther

Flag of Colombia
Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia / Retail

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A loan helped Purchase gold and silver plated ornaments requested by her customers.

Patricia Esther's story

In the July 20th neighborhood tenement, there is a place near the Metropolitan Stadium in Barranquilla where soccer games are played and the neighbors are happy and supportive of one another. This place is the neighborhood where Patricia H. A. lives. She is 32 years old and has enjoyed being independent from a young age. Patricia started a home business making popsicles and frozen drinks packed in plastic bags. Her products are prepared naturally and consist of the most delicious tropical fruits of the region including guava, mango, soursop, coconut, banana, and pineapple. By serving these refreshments, Patricia became known in the community and gradually attracted business before she was presented with an opportunity to start selling general merchandise through specialized guides. She eventually started her new retail business in which she visited customers to demonstrate the products shown in the catalog prior to taking their orders. Patricia delivers the goods to the homes of her customers and started offering credit payment plans that require an initial down payment. At the moment, her only source of capital for this second business comes from selling popsicles. However, she was always short of the funds needed to fulfill her customers’ orders. It was at this point that Ana, a friend and neighbor, took note of her entrepreneurship and suggested that she visit Fundación Mario Santo Domingo to apply for a loan. Since then, she has continued to participate in the programs offered by the organization. The additional capital issued to Patricia has improved both the quantity and quality of her product offerings.

Patricia’s husband is a policeman and they have two dependent children. Her sister-in-law is a teacher and helps find customers among her friends at work who are more likely to pay. Patricia also sells shoes, silver plated ornaments, imitation gold, and appliances that are not offered in her product catalog but requested by her customers. For this reason, her customers prefer to buy from her, which has led to an expansion of her business since Patricia is willing to sell them whatever they need. Her current goal is to obtain a loan of 2,000,000 COP to buy silver and gold ornaments since these items are the most profitable.

For Patricia, having a business means establishing her status as an independent woman. With her earnings, she is able to pay Social Security so that she can support her parents and still maintain a beautiful and orderly home. This is a by-product of the willingness of her and her husband to live a better life each day. They have been able to make optimal improvements to their home by adding floors, doors, and closets. Patricia loves her husband because he does not limit her ability to dream or make investment decisions. He acknowledges that her choices have resulted in successful outcomes.

Patricia H. is a multifaceted woman. She enjoys her work, but she also participates in activities that support the feeding of the poor and encourage improving the nutritional levels of children who do not have enough to eat. Patricia lends a hand to an organization near her home that identifies mothers and guardians of children at risk and teaches them about proper nutrition. She has participated in programs that plant gardens in the yards of families with special needs. The revenue generated from this program goes to fund programs that strengthen family development. Her dream is to provide specialized training to educators and other professionals who work with children. As for her business, she wants to develop a solid program in which exhibitors can sell from their home and then hire employees and pay them a wage that will allow them to support their families. One of the challenges she faces is the existence of health problems in her family. She ran out of capital and is now having to rebuild. Patricia is an integral member of her family who is aware of her moral obligations. She has a great capacity for taking calculated risks necessary to map out her future.

Translated from Spanish by Ronan Reodica, Kiva Volunteer