Total loan: $850


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San Jacinto-Bolívar, Bolivar, Colombia / Arts

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A loan helped To buy materials to fill orders for bags, knapsacks and hammocks in a timely way.

Cleotilde's story

Cleotilde is 41, lives with her husband, and has 3 children ages 12 to 23. They live in the San Jacinto municipality in Bolívar department, an area where fabric is woven on vertical looms, from which hammocks, knapsacks and sandals are made. This skill is handed down from generation to generation, and learned from an early age, mainly by women. This is precisely the work in which Cleotide has found a way of generating income, and meeting her household expenses. She makes and sells a variety of handicrafts, and materials that are mainly bought by the artisans of San Jacinto. They use these to make the finest and most-renowned hand-crafted products in the Columbian Caribbean; the ones that impress tourists from other countries when they travel that route on their way to the beautiful and historic city of Cartagena de Indias. Cleotilde's entrepreneurial experience began with making traditional cookies called almojábanas. This went very well, but she had to give it up, because of the negative effect this work had on her health. This was how she started her business of making hammocks; a trade that she already knew. Gradually she started selling them. At the same time she began selling materials and supplies, so that the artisans of her town could get what they needed for their production at her store. Cleotilde has been associated with Fundación Mario Santo Domingo for 3 years, and has received 6 loans from the organization. With these, she has managed to increase her working capital, and to buy a display case, an electronic scale, and an electric thread winder. Her income has allowed her to improve her housing conditions. Her goal is to continue expanding her business, adding more machines to do better finishing work on the bags she makes. She also wants to offer a university education to her youngest son, for whom she is responsible. Her greatest challenge is meeting customer demand, since even though her working capital increases daily, it is becoming insufficient. This is why she is coming to her Credikiva for her seventh loan from Fundación Marion Santo Domingo. She will use the loan to buy materials to fill orders for bags, knapsacks and hammocks in a timely way. Her experience in this business is her greatest strength; this and her good management of her obligations, as well as her long association with the Fundación, are the reasons for her success, and what has enabled her to increase her income.