A loan of $850 helped buying groceries in greater volume, because she has orders for rice, oil, detergent, soap, powdered milk and sausages.

Duve Esther's story

Duve M. R. is a 50-year-old woman who lives in the Siape neighborhood, and who does not just sit around, because she is giving expression to her entrepreneurial talent: she is always busy looking for opportunities, buying, selling, and getting to know new people in order to make them her customers.

She has been working in this way for many years; 7 years ago, she started traveling to Maicao, a municipality on the border with Venezuela, to buy groceries such as rice, oil, detergent, soap, powdered milk, sausages, soft drinks and even bedsheets. When she began this business, she did it with very little capital, and little by little she has been increasing it. Duve travels with her sister every 8 days, buying products which her customers request, and distributing them on credit each week; she later collects her payments every two weeks. Her main customers are her neighbors in the San Salvador neighborhood and also in her own community. Recently, she has found many of these items for a good price in Barranquilla, and thus she buys them in that city. Duve added to her business the sale of shoes through specialized guides; she sells them on order and collects the money every 15 days.

Duve is a very creative and dynamic woman who is always on the move. She takes great advantage of her skills, and she is constantly identifying market niches where she can earn money with her work. She has always done what she enjoys, and that is the root of her success. During the Carnival season, Duve sells shirts decorated with sequins, which she makes herself, and this is another source of income for her. She also sells beer, soup and hayacas [a kind of tamale], taking advantage of the fact that the area where she lives happens to be the place where the great Carnival parades take place, so it is a place where great crowds gather to enjoy these events that are so important for the city of Barranquilla. She and her family, made up of her husband, who is retired from work with a company, along with children and grandchildren, live in their own house, where she and her husband always remain united in all of the decisions related to the household.

This is her third loan, and Duve plans to buy groceries in greater volume, because she has orders for rice, oil, detergent, soap, powdered milk, and sausages. She feels that her life has changed since she received her first loan, because she has had the opportunity to have money available to buy merchandise and respond very quickly to her customers. Her dream is to expand her business, adding silver jewelry, because she has potential customers she met in Maicao, and they have requested this. This is her current challenge, since she needs a little more capital, and she is working toward this goal.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patricia Linderman

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