A loan of $2,650 helped a member for the purchase of piglets, animal feed, and raw materials for bread making.

The Women´s Bank ¨women Of Faith¨ Group's story

The name of this group translates as The Women´s Bank ¨Women of Faith.¨ The nine women members live in Pococi, Limon, located in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica.

This will be the group's first loan with Fundación Mujer. The members of this group were referred to Fundación Mujer by an acquaintance in a nearby village who had had a positive experience with the organization in the past. The name of this group, ¨Women of Faith¨ was chosen by the members and to them, it signifies that each member is a woman of faith who is optimistic and confident that she will be successful in her endeavours. These entrepreneurs feel that with hard work and dedication, they will have great success.

During the Women´s Empowerment classes (which accompany the issuance of all loans granted from Fundación Mujer to groups of this size), the members of this group displayed exceptional interest in learning how best to manage their micro-businesses. They have acquired skills that provide a solid foundation on which to launch a small business in a way to maximize revenue and reduce costs. Additionally, the women who have been elected to the Board of Directors (Secundina, Yorleny, Carmen and Angela) possess a wealth of knowledge and experience acquired by working with women´s groups. This wisdom will surely be valuable as this group moves forward.

The women of this group are involved mainly in two types of productive activities : pig rearing and the production of bread and tamales. Each individual member will receive 150,000 Colones to invest in her business as she sees fit. The women involved in pig rearing will use this loan to purchase piglets as well as animal feed. The women involved in food production will use this loan to purchase raw materials necessary for bread and tamale production. Tamales are a staple Costa Rican food eaten all year round and especially around Christmas time.

Secundina B. C. is a 54-year-old mother of 5 who lives with her husband and two children in Pococi. She is also the elected president of this group. Secundina plans to use this loan to invest in ingredients to make bread and tamales which she will sell in her community. She starts selling her products in the street at 8 AM every day, and she works until everything is sold. A main obstacle for Secundina and other members of this group has been a lack of access to working capital, the high cost of raw materials, and difficulty securing a consistent market for her (their) goods. Secundina´s main goal is to secure a fixed market for her goods, so as to secure a steady flow of income and to allow her to spend more time producing goods instead of spending so much time selling her products in the street.

Secundina admits there are advantages and disadvantages to the group lending model. She says that the model allows women who would otherwise be denied a loan, the ability to secure startup capital. This is because many women in the Pococi community do not know anyone with a constant salary who can act as a guarantor. This debilitating factor is overcome by the group model, whereby each member acts as a guarantor for other group members. Secundina notes that a disadvantage of her group is that she fears some of the members may have trouble repaying their loans, but she is nevertheless a ¨Woman of Faith.¨

In this group: Secundina, Yorleny, Carmen, Yajaira, Angela, Leonor, Grace, Ester, Maria Isabel

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details