A loan of $1,125 helped purchase a washing machine, clothing, shoes, and a scale.

Maria Del Carmen's story

María F. G. makes a living selling all types of merchandise, especially household appliances, clothing, and shoes. She lives in the city of Soledad, which is 15 minutes away from Barranquilla, with her husband and four children who range in age from 18 to 39. María del Carmen is an expert at her business because she has always worked in her own venture since 1986. The first business she had was a restaurant she managed with her husband when he became a pensioner. Later she started a beauty salon in her home and eventually began selling gold jewelry in 1991. María also traveled and brought back merchandise to sell from Maicao, a town that lies near the border with Venezuela. Whenever her traveling retail business became less profitable, she began purchasing merchandise in Barranquilla at a better price. Now she devotes herself exclusively to selling different types of merchandise on credit.

María has received six previous loans from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo and has paid them off effectively. This Kiva loan will be her seventh one and she will use it to purchase a washing machine, clothing, shoes, and a scale for her business since she has already received orders for these items. The loans that were provided to María del Carmen have been valuable because they helped her generate income to buy products for her home, especially food and clothing for her children. She also supports her grandchildren, so she would like to have sufficient capital so that she can take advantage of buying opportunities and investments in her business. She continues to dream of having a well-organized restaurant once again because she is passionate about preparing food. Her greatest challenge with her retail business is competition because there have been many instances in which other merchants sell goods that are much cheaper. However, it is her job to explain to her customers the relationship between price and specific elements of quality such as durability.

María is an active board member of the community action committee in her neighborhood, which does a lot of work related to community development. She is well-known in Soledad and is always looking for new customers to help generate more income.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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