A loan of $1,100 helped to buy pants, blouses, t-shirts, and costume jewelry.

Karen Sofia's story

Camino al Progreso Communal Bank meets every two weeks in Montecristi Canton, known for its rich pre-colonial culture and its nationally and internationally renowned arts and crafts. This is the place where the famous "paja toquilla" [or "Panama"] hats come from.

Karen lives here. She is 22 years old and single, and lives in her parents' house. She is studying for her degree in communications in a university in Manta.

In addition to her studies she also sells all types of clothing and Visión-brand costume jewelry. She makes door-to-door sales and also sells to her classmates and acquaintances in the university. Her classmates make a lot of requests. She also takes advantage of her spare time to make sales. She leaves things on credit and collects every two weeks. She receives her merchandise at home because a woman delivers it to her. She has been doing this work for three years and it's going very well for her.

She's going to use this loan to buy more merchandise, such as pants, blouses, t-shirts, and costume jewelry. She has been with the communal bank for three loan cycles and she likes it because thanks to the loans she has been able to start a business that gives her money to pay for her studies.

Her dream is to complete her studies.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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