A loan of $975 helped to pay cash for basic supplies wholesale, such as leather and hardware, in order to increase production and sales.

Edwin Santiago's story

Edwin, 29, learned the art of leather working when he studied at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios, Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo School of Arts and Crafts) ((http://www.eaosd.org/), sponsored by the Fundación Mario Santo Domingo. In 2009, he started his own adventure in business, using the techniques he had learned. He has a leather working shop where he makes bags, belts and billfolds. He has three employees and, as principal clients, department stores and wholesalers in France, Venezuela and the city of Cali. Cali is also known as the “University of the Salsa” in Colombia due to the expertise shown in performing the dance..

Edwin’s exclusive designs added to the quality of his products show a craftsmanship that has gained him market share, which he has been able to sustain over the competition. Currently he is applying for a Kiva loan, his first funding request to Fundación Mario Santo Domingo. He will use it to pay cash for basic materials wholesale, such as leather and hardware, in order to increase his production and sales. This insures that the investment will be a big success.

Edwin’s future goal is to expand his business with production equipment in order to transform it into a large company and to promote his products in many countries. It is with this dream that he gets up every day, ready to work.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Diane Chaney

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