A loan of $550 helped to buy fish and seafood in bulk.

Elisa's story

Elisa is 68, lives in a town very close to the city, and is a widow and mother of two children ages 37 and 38. Since she was very young, and for 11 years, she made a living through commercial activity in her native Villanueva, a town in the department of La Guajira to the north of Colombia. This is why when she came to the city of Barranquilla, she organized a cybercafe in which she had two years of experience. Later, she undertook the distribution of fish and seafood in another town close to the city because she considered it to be more profitable. There she attained good customers and managed to stabilize her business, at the same time that she moved to the town where she currently lives. Her business works with important institutions, like a military battalion and clinics, to which she provides fish and seafood for the consumption of their target population. She receives monthly payment for these products and buys on a daily frequency. Her two children actively participate in her business and are part of this whole task, which provides these families daily with the possibility of having more and more welfare in their homes.

She is currently applying for her first loan from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo and it is a Kiva loan, which she will use to buy fish and seafood in a greater volume than she is accustomed to. With the investment of this Kiva loan she will earn discounts and will extend her market to new customers, who will cause it to increasingly grow. This is thanks to the fact that she only sells fresh and healthful seafood products; the reason for which everyone who consumes them then refers new buyers and causes her demand to grow. The biggest challenge that Elisa faces is having enough working capital to diversify her business and add more products like cheese, frozen meats, and whey, which she would sell for cash and use to take advantage of the current market segment which has not yet satisfied its demand. When she achieves this, her income will increase further just as she has dreamed.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Stephanie Sawyer

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