A loan of $700 helped to buy leather goods like shoes and also to buy clothes.

Hena Raquel's story

Hena, 77, worked in an office and when she stopped doing so she separated from her husband. Everything became very difficult and this is how in order to generate income she relied on a girlfriend who supplied her with some goods for her to sell. Hena started her business overcoming everything because selling cosmetics and other merchandise wasn’t easy because she wasn’t accustomed to this. But she did it visiting her coworkers and gradually built up a clientele among them. She’d sell on credit and as she collected payments she’d spend it buying downtown to respond to orders.

Five years ago she became associated with firms that sell their products via catalogues; she’s with four of them and used income to set up a miscellany store. She bought display cases and stocked them and lately has been selling merchandise independent from the catalogues and is able to stay in business buying items that are on special in order to offer competitive prices so that her customers are able to buy from her.

She sells mainly on credit she extends to her clientele and the money is recuperated in a period of about two months depending on the amount of merchandise and the amount of financing. Because she lives renting with her son, she has inventory that she displays at her sister’s house which is near her house.

Hena is a very hardworking woman who also earns monthly income which is a profit or percentage she gets from the city’s regional lottery where people who buy from her hope to win a house or a car. Her clientele in this business are people who buy repeatedly so she considers them to be regular customers.

She is applying for a Kiva loan at present, her fourth financing with Fundación Mario Santo Domingo that she’ll use to buy good quality merchandise brought from the city of Bucaramanga in Santander Department because good quality leather goods like shoes are made there, also clothes and items she has orders pending for Mother’s Day which is a day when her customers want to be elegant and honor the most beloved being on earth: The Mother.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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