A loan of $1,700 helped to buy stock merchandise for her store.

Melida's story

Melida, 44, lives with her husband and four children whose ages range from 6 to 24 years in the city of Cartagena, located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, one of Colombia’s best-known tourist sites because it has one of the country’s main naval bases and its historical-artistic heritage encompasses Carthaginian, Roman and Byzantine military styles from both modern and contemporary ages as well as neo-classical and modern buildings.

In that fantastic place in a modest way she runs her grocery, soft-drinks, beverage, snacks, foodstuffs and canned goods store. She also sells stationery supplies, cosmetics and women’s accessories as well as other merchandise that sells well and complements the main products she retails increasing her income and helping her capital to turnover frequently.

When Melida decided to develop her enterprising, independent idea she did it after an experience she had with her husband. They lost the jobs they had at a leather processing firm and decided to apply the useful skills they had in sales to start their own business venture and generate their own independent employment. This is how the store started out because this couple wanted to generate sufficient income to benefit their family.

At first they sold just a few products adding more new ones every time until they attained the diversity they now have because they also offer merchandise via catalogue especially beauty products. Her greatest challenge is not having sufficient capital to implement a marketing strategy that will allow her to impress with her prices, special promotions and products her customers constantly request and often are unavailable in stock thus leaving some demand unmet.

This is the reason why they are calling on a Kiva loan, the first financing they get from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo through which they will buy foodstuffs, groceries, meats, canned goods, dairy products and beauty products that are on special in her catalogue. With this investment she plans to increase income offering products at good prices resulting from her passing down to her customers the special prices Melida gets by being able to buy in quantity.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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