The loan consultant that has been working with Erika has described her as a hardworking, honest, sincere, noble woman with a battling spirit. This will be her first loan with Fundacion Mujer. Erika is applying for this loan in an effort to gain financial independence as well as to earn an income to help her sister Karol raise her child, who has special needs.
Erika's determination is exemplified by her daily work routine. She has dedicated the last five years of her life to selling newspapers in the morning while working as a masseuse in the afternoon. Recently, an opportunity to purchase the newspaper stand and license where Erika and her sister work, has presented itself. Erika plans to use this loan to purchase the newspaper vendors license from the Costa Rican government, for 250,000 colons, and also the newsstand itself.
As owner, Erika will be able to earn more revenues and better support herself, her immediate family and her sister. The newspaper stand is located diagonally to the Legislative Assembly in a densely populated pedestrian zone of San Jose where many locals have become accustomed to purchasing their daily newspapers.
Erika and her sister sell papers from 6 a.m. to noon everyday or until they run out of papers. In an average good month Erika can earn 290,000 colons selling papers.
Erika’s goals are to earn enough money from the newsstand to provide a quality standard of living for her family. In the long term she would like to open a beauty salon.
Although she would like to be able to sell more than just newspapers at her stand, this would require the purchase of another expensive license. Erika mentions this as one of the main deterrents to the growth of her business. The good news is that her papers are selling fast, and often she is sold out by 8 in the morning!
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In Costa Rica, funding for microfinance institutions is hard to come by, and many institutions find themselves having difficulty growing and reaching all the demand for loans that exist. Kiva works with Fundacion Mujer because it attends a very marginalized population in Costa Rica, with a specific focus on women. In addition to the loan, Fundacion Mujer provides specialized training programs for their borrowers on everything from computer classes to salon training. Because of the difficulty in obtaining capital in Costa Rica, Fundacion Mujer cannot serve all the women that need loans. Therefore Kiva plays a unique role in helping Fundacion Mujer grow its portfolio and reach borrowers it otherwise would not be able to.
About Fundacion Mujer:Fundación Mujer is an organization specializing in the financial and personal development of female entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. They seek to reach underserved populations that may include indigenous communities, immigrants, refugees, victims of domestic violence or women living with HIV/AIDS. Fundación Mujer offers courses in both business and personal development, as well as training in concrete skills such as sewing and other crafts.
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Success!! The loan was 100% repaid