A loan of $4,000 helped to buy more inventory and secure his spot at this year’s Peruvian Food Festival.

Yeral's story

Yeral was born to be a businessman. “It’s in my blood,” he says. Growing up in Chimbote, Peru, his interest in business was piqued early by watching his parents. His father worked at a local restaurant while his mother sold vegetables and fruits. Oftentimes, he would join his mother on these pursuits and learned the tricks of the trade from her.

His parents’ tremendous influence stayed with him as he moved from Peru to San Francisco in 2004. While working a series of miscellaneous jobs, Yeral’s desire to open up his own business grew. However, as a recent immigrant, he didn’t know how to get things started.

In 2010, his drive to become an entrepreneur propelled him to get into business the way he knew best: Yeral began serving delicious Peruvian treats at food festivals. In order to secure a spot at a Peruvian Food Festival, he needed a loan to pay the initial fee but when he turned to a major bank, he was refused credit because he did not have tax returns, a business license or a business bank account.

Without a set destination, he marched through San Francisco’s Mission district, adamant that somewhere in the sea of pay-day loans and pawn shops, he would find a financial institution that would help him. At last, he stumbled upon Opportunity Fund, where the staff recognized his potential and his passion. Yeral got the cash he needed to capitalize his business, as well as a foothold into the mainstream American financial system.

At last year’s Peruvian Food Festival, Yeral sold over 400 plates of food and gained recognition for his talent making tasty Peruvian treats. He wants to return again this year, and this time he expects to sell closer to 800 plates of food, doubling his business over last year. Yeral needs a second loan for $4,000 in order to buy more inventory and secure his spot at this year’s Peruvian Food Festival, which will be held in July.

Currently, Yeral devotes 50% of his time to expanding his business and he spends the other 50% working at a bar. He aims to expand his business so that one day he can devote 100% of his energy to serving delicious Peruvian treats.

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