A loan of $2,900 helped a member to purchase household goods such as drapes and lace curtains to stock her business during the Christmas season.

Unidos Progresamos Group's story

This communal bank is called “Unidos Progresamos” (United Progress). It is made up of 16 entrepreneurs who are engaged in different businesses, among which are jewelry sales, the sale of sweets, a pastry shop, the sale of fabrics, and handicrafts, among other businesses. All the members live in the city of Rancagua.

Mabel, the president of the communal bank, can be found in the photo in the first row, second from the right wearing a dark print, ¾ sleeve blouse. Her hair is long and light brown with bangs. In addition, she is wearing her glasses atop on top of her head. She works selling household goods, specifically, drapes, lace curtains, flounces, and dish towels, among other articles. She has been in this business for 5 years. She offers her products at different street markets 4 days a week: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. She purchases three bales of merchandise weekly from a distributor in the city of Santiago.

With the loan she will buy 6 bales of household goods in order to stock her business during the Christmas season. One of her goals is to establish herself as a distributor of used clothing since this type of business does not exist in the city of Rancagua. Many merchants have to carry out the purchase of such merchandise in Santiago, and it would be a great business for obtaining good profits.

Mabel lives with her father and her four children, ages 17, 13, 8, and 6. Her father helps her with the business since he enjoys supporting her. One of her dreams is to study for a career in social work. Her motivation for continuing with the business is that it is her sole source of her family’s income. Mabel is very happy and thankful for the opportunity offered by Fondo Esperanza since it will allow her to have capital for investing in her business.

With regard to the communal bank of which she is a part, she says that there is a very good relationship among the members. This is why they feel very comfortable sharing their different activities and interests. Rancagua is part of the Libertador Bernardo O´Higgins region. It is a modern city that is Chile’s principal center for the production and export of fruit and grapevines. It is also a mining city due to the , nearby mountain range in which one finds the largest underground mine in the world, “El Teniente” , with 4,500 km. of tunnels.

In this group: Mabel, Nolfa, Eugenio, Rossie, María, Francisca, Nadia, Cecilia, Jacqueline, Solange, Cecilia, Mabel, Alicia, Mariluz, Lucila, Eliana

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Rick & Pat Brown

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