A loan of $1,050 helped buy four washing machines to rent.


Elvira Nicolasa's story

Elvira C. P., 57, is well known by people of the town of Soledad for her dedication to her business. Elvira has 10 washing machines that she rents to the households in her neighborhood and those nearby. This helps the householders to get their washing done while they attend to other chores, and at a fair price.

Elvira started out with three machines and now has ten. However, she needs to replace them as they have worn out. With this loan of 2,000,000 pesos, she will buy four new machines, which will improve her service to her customers.

Elvira has always been a businesswoman. In 1999, she had two stalls in the market in a place called Miami, and in 2001 she built a gym in her home with the money from selling the stalls. This business lasted only two years because her house was small and she wanted to make more income. At this point, she started the washing machine rental business among her friends and family, who gradually recommended it to others.

Having a business has been important to Elvira and her family, as it has enabled her to pay education expenses for her son who has now finished a course in Business Administration.

Elvira’s most important goal is to open an office on a main street of Santuario, a neighborhood in the south of Barranquilla, to increase her earnings. In the future, she would like to partner with her children in a taxi business in the town of Soledad.

Her biggest challenge now is selecting good clients, as there is a risk that someone will steal the washing machines. For this reason, she works with neighbors, property owners and people with references, and she is careful that the machines are returned on time.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer jeff hersk



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