A loan of $875 helped to purchase non-perishable goods in bulk such as coffee, sugar, rice, oil, canned foods, and soft drinks.

Luis Alfro's story

Luis is 52 years old and the owner of a business called “Tienda la Única” (The Only Store), which is 10 minutes away from the sea. He lives with his wife and their four children who range in age from 12 to 18. Housewives from the community and the surrounding areas come to his store to buy everyday items for their families such as snacks, food, beverages, groceries, and other items. His customers know him and his products sell quickly to the point that he runs out of a few items. For this reason he is requesting a Kiva loan, his first form of financing through Fundación Mario Santo Domingo. He will use the funds to buy in large quantities so that he can maintain a stock of non-perishable goods such as coffee, sugar, rice, oil, canned foods, and soft drinks. By purchasing in volume, Luis will be able to get a discount and also save on shipping costs. In addition, by having more products in stock, he can stop saying “We’ve run out” to his customers.

Luis started working approximately 25 years ago. This native of Zapoteca, in the Department of Santander, moved to the Caribbean coast and started a job as a store clerk. Afterwards, he became independent and started selling dairy products from a bicycle. He also started selling candy and cookies while holding down other jobs working in construction and at a bakery so that he could gain experience. Seven months ago, Luis opened his store with great success and a warm reception from the customers who make up his niche market. Luis has the support of his family, especially from two of his children who have gained business experience while going to school. His greatest wish is to one day leave them with a secure source of income so that they can work persistently and with discipline. In the meantime, his current business is generating sales profitability of no less than 8.7% while his cost of sales is 84.1%.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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