A loan of $1,075 helped to acquire a grill so that he can diversify his services to include meats, grilled chicken and other products.

Ramiro's story

Ramiro A. arrived at his sister's home, in the city of Barranquilla, from El Carmen de Bolívar, in 1992. In this city he started working as a construction assistant. He carried out this job for two years and then worked as a shop assistant for 6 months. Finally, he went to Bogotá to 'try his luck', also working in the construction trade. In 1996 he returned to Barranquilla where he sold merchandise on a small scale to neighbors and family members, selling to order. He did this until 1997 when he was assaulted and left with a permanent disability in his legs. That same year he got married and he currently has two children (twins).

Ramiro, in spite of his disability, is a very independent and proactive man. He took courses in handicrafts, specialized in book binding and worked as an instructor while he made diaries and other implements to sell to local university students. He also managed two cafeterias from which he received monthly payment. With the support of some capital from his wife, he started selling towels and sheets that a female friend of his acquired at good prices for him to sell. With the profits he and his wife made, they bought a hot dog cart and hired a worker for it but things didn't work out as they had planned and they saw their capital reduced. Ramiro decided to work in the business himself and in two weeks he doubled his investment since he had a good sales location. He bought his supplies himself in a delicatessen where he went daily in his wheelchair. With the profits he made, he bought another hot dog cart and a pizza oven and hired an employee for each location but this time he took a lot of control of the business and he worked preparing the sauces together with his wife who helped him some nights.

With his savings in an account, he came to Fundación Mario Santo Domingo to apply for and access the social housing programs with government subsidy. He was given a subsidy and obtained a micro housing loan to complete his financial closing. In 2004 he received his house which he adapted.

Ramiro is an exemplary man. He puts a lot of willpower into his activities and doesn't let them fail. For this reason, he has held onto his business every time that he has faced a challenge. He currently has a helper who he pays on a daily basis. In his business, he has a hot dog cart, a pizza oven, one fryer and two sets of table and chairs. He makes on average 200,000 Colombian pesos every weekend with an average increase of 50% on public holidays. He has received loans from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo to adapt his house, to organize his business and also a mortgage loan. His goals are marked by the growth of his business for which he would like to acquire a grill. This will allow him to diversify his services to include meats, grilled chicken and other products. This is the reason he is applying for a Kiva loan.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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