A loan of $775 helped to buy women's clothing and footwear for men and women.


Merlyn Esther's story

Merlyn C. Gutiérrez is 43 years old she lives with her parents and her 13 year old son. She is a woman who does not stand still as regards looking for new income and becoming qualified, therefore she has done courses in marketing and sales, hairdressing and beauty, food preparation and footwear manufacturing and she has got a return from all of them. Then she earned income selling shoes, clothing and accessories that stregthen the image of women, men and children. She does hairdressing at home, she makes "hayacas" (meat wrapped in cornmeal dough and banana leaves), "deditos" (finger shaped pastries) and "frituras" (fried food) in the weekends helped by her mother. She makes shoes when her customers take her the model they ask her for and she also works part time in a company provisionally in various roles, where she has managed to acquire her cusomers who are mainly company employees, although she also has housewives, neighbours, friends and family. Recently, her sister who is a customer of the Mario Santo Domingo Foundation, as things have gone well with this organization, advised her to access the loan programme so that she can keep expanding her market, therefore she is asking for financing to the value of $ 1,500,000 to buy women's clothing and footwear for men and women. Marlyn lives in the suburb of José Antonio Galán, in the Suroriente de Barranquilla locality. It is characterized by the great joy of its people and the spirit of solidarity that they demonstrated when they succeeded in supporting local government for the paving of their streets, through resources obtained from walks, bingo, raffles, festivals and other community activities. It is in this environment where Merlyn has developed her business, which started when working in a company. She used to help her cousin to win customers in order to sell them his goods, and there she saw the possibility of an additional income and started the same business selling to friends, neighbors and grew her customer base offering goods to all that came near; her cousin continued to supply her until she saved the $150,000 that allowed her to negotiate directly with department stores and local stores, as up until now she did it through a healthy business connection. Now her great challenge is to complete a sustainable business expansion and in the future her dream is to have a local store where she can integrate all her businesses and her main goal is to offer Yosimar, her son, the highest quality education and always be his emotional support.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catherine Dent



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