A loan of $2,700 helped a member to buy a stove.

Crecer Unidos Group's story

This communal bank is called “Crecer Unidos” (To Grow Together). It has 15 entrepreneurs who are in a variety of businesses like: kiosks, clothing store, pastry making, bakery, textile workshop, auto repair shop, vegetable stand and an inn. All of them are from the city of Talca.

Patricia, who in the photo is seated in the front row second from the left, is wearing a violet jacket and brown sandals. Her hair is short and dark brown. She makes and sells turnovers and also makes baked goods and pastry. In February she participated in a cultural fair where she sold her products.

She’s been in this line of work for four years. During the week and on weekends she makes the turnovers but weekends is when her profits are greatest. Patricia sells her products based on prior orders from her customers and sometimes her sales are in excess of 200 turnovers.

She buys her ingredients at a minimarket and she buys the onions at wholesale. She will use this loan to buy a stove because the one she’s using now is in bad shape. Her goal is to have an established locale to sell her bakery products and pastry.

Patricia lives with her husband and children. However, according her her husband’s job requirements he sometimes has to be away from home for two week periods due to his work schedule. One of her children helps her with her business since business and sales are enjoyable.

Patricia’s motivation to continue in business is to cover her daughter’s university costs. Besides, this business has served as therapy for her and has raised her spirits because she’s been in treatment for cancer for the last five years. She currently is going in for medical supervision and her state of mind is positive.

She is very grateful to Fondo Esperanza because of the easy loan terms that make it possible for her to invest in her business and generate more profits. She very much enjoys taking part in the meetings because she learns with the training; besides she’s learned how to apply the bookkeeping skills she’s learned to her business.

Talca is part of Maule Region in the central part of the country. It is the administrative, economic and cultural center of the region since it’s the most important city in the Chilean Central Valley. There is an interesting phrase in Chile about Talca: “Talca, París y Londres.” Among the myths alluding to it some say that it comes from something an Englishman once said: “Talca seems like London” (Talca parece Londres) because of the thick fog that frequently covers the city in winter like in the capital of the United Kingdom.

In this group: Patricia, Aner, Silvia, Emilia, María, Hortencia, Sonia, Graciela, María, Héctor, Juana, Norma, María, Tamara, Carolina

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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