A loan of $1,050 helped to buy merchandise such as shirts, sweaters, sandals, perfumes, plates, pots, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and a new glass display case.

Maria Concepción's story

María P. O. is a small businesswoman who lives in a small town located on the northern coast of Colombia named Arjona, which is very close to the city of Cartagena de Indias. In this town the main activities are agriculture, livestock production, the production of food products such as buns and corn and cheese fritters, and trade: especially the sale of garments, shoes and home furnishings. Maria P., 44, has a business called Variedades Mary. She sells bed sheets, accessories, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, perfumes, cosmetics, irons, pots, vases, and offers the community telephone call services. She does this in the midst of the town's festivities, parades on horseback, pageants, and accordion festivals. She is an enterprising woman who started her small business 5 years ago. It has gradually grown, driven by her desire to earn more money in order to finish building her house so that she can live there with her husband and her 3 children who are in school: one at the secondary level and the other two at the university.

She is currently seeking the support of a loan in the amount of 2 million Colombian pesos, which will allow her to invest in the purchase of merchandise such as shirts, sweaters, sandals, perfumes, dishes, pots, bed sheets, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and a new glass showcase. This way she can deliver her orders more promptly and gain new customers and increase her income. She wants to continue to invest little by little until she can finish her house, so she can save the money paid on rent, and have a dedicated space for her business that would improve its physical aspect and provide the space needed for its organization. For Maria, one of her most important challenges in addition to finishing her house is to help her children become professionals, a goal that she will achieve with her effort in her small business, and with the support of her husband, who works as a driver.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Lisa Grobar

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