A loan of $550 helped to buy leather, synthetic material, rubber, soles and iron fittings.

Edgardo Jose's story

Edgardo has a shoemaker's workshop in his home in which he makes sandals, bags, purses, belts and all kinds of shoes, especially for women. His experience in the trade was acquired when he worked for 9 years in a large footwear company which operated an industrial free-trade zone. There, in spite of being in an administrative position, he learned all the techniques and stages of the production process. After leaving the company, he perfected his knowledge by attending a number of shoemaker's courses in the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, SENA (the National Apprenticeship Service).

Currently Edgardo produces all kinds of footwear which he sells by the dozen in stores and warehouses across the city. He makes his sales for cash and occasionally allows 30 to 45 days for his customers to pay. His average profit margin is 43% and his monthly sales are on average $2,700,000. His workshop, although it is small, has an industrial sewing machine and all the manual equipment he needs to produce any type of footwear. Normally Edgardo works alone but in the end-of-year season his orders usually increase considerably and he hires an assistant who helps him cut his synthetic material and leather.

This is Edgardo's first loan from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo. He is requesting $1,000,000 which he plans to invest in the purchase of leather, synthetic material, rubber, soles and iron fittings. Edgardo says that one of his biggest achievements has been to sell his products in spite of the strong competition which he has seen from imports of similar products at lower prices but of inferior quality. He dreams of having a larger shoemaker's workshop, equipped with modern machinery and many employees. With his small workshop, Edgardo has managed to pay for his children to study in higher education which is his biggest pride.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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