A loan of $1,200 helped buy clothing and elegant footwear for women, men, and children; which has been requested by her customers.

Belia Cecilia's story

Belia G. lives with her parents and a sister in San Juan Nepomuceno in the Bolívar municipality. She lives in a neighborhood where many of the inhabitants belong to the educational sector. In general, the people in the community are characterized as being supportive neighbors.

She studied Hotel Administration, and she lived in Cartagena for 20 years. She knew a lot of people there, and she got the idea to sell clothes. She got her initial merchandise through catalogs. A little over two years ago Belia worked for a company that closed. She used her savings to build her place and created her business, Belia Boutique.

Once again she went to live in San Juan Nepomuceno, the place where she was born. She continues to take care of her customers from Cartagena, and she is adding to her business with new customers from Juan Nepomuceno.
The business has been very important to her because she is economically dependent upon it. This is true even though she receives income from her apartment, which is rented because she lives in her parents’ house.

She is currently asking for her first loan with the Fundación Mario Santo Domingo for 2,300,000 COP. She will buy clothing and elegant footwear for women, men, and children, which has been requested by her customers.

Her dream is to expand her place and to later on have a car. She would use the car to travel and bring merchandise from Bogotá and Medellín. Her big challenge is continuing to be unemployed and supporting herself with her business.

Another big challenge and lesson was when she gave credit to people she did not know, and she lost part of the money she had saved. The bills she had to pay grew, and there was money she could not collect. She does not have that now. Finally, with this negative experience she learned to be very careful choosing her customers. That is precisely what she now does, and it makes her choose them well.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ginny Kalish

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