A loan of $625 helped to buy clothes for Carnival, perfume, and accessories.

Herminia's story

Herminia, age 60, is a very hard-working woman who generates income through her business. She sells products that are promoted through specialized guides or magazines. These publications offer perfumes, bedspreads, household items, and a general assortment of products. She sells mainly on credit in agreed upon payments that are adjusted to her customers’ common-needs and those of her business.

Her business of selling miscellaneous merchandise is in her house, which is to the south of the city. It is in a neighborhood that combines formal and informal productive spaces, large stores, and sporting venues like the Estadio Metropolitano (Metropolitan Stadium) where good Colombian soccer is played. It is called the National Selection House of Colombian Soccer.

Herminia undertook her business adventure in 1977. She did this because, as a woman who is head of her household, she needed to generate income in order to get her two children ahead. They are now adults.

Her main customers are friends, referred customers, and relatives. She gives them payment installments of between 15 and 45 days. They help her respond to the competition with references; they are the best spokespersons for her business.

Herminia’s business’s operating expenses are relatively low. She shares the family expenses with her son, who works independently. Hermninia handles a recovery of accounts receivables rate according to the type of business being conducted. She has the discipline to constantly invest in her business. This allows her to generate enough profit to cover the expenses.

She is currently applying for a Kiva loan, her first loan with the Fundación Mario Santo Domino. She will use the loan to buy clothes for Carnival season, perfume, accessories, and a variety of products. She will do this to make an offer that impacts her customers. She will take advantage of the seasons when sales increase because of the joy and celebration that the Carnival generates with its folkloric groups that participate in parades. All of the citizens pour into the streets to see the Battle of the Flowers parade and other popular activities during this fiesta.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ginny Kalish

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