A loan of $1,400 helped to stock her retail business.

María Rossana's story

The Las Piedras community bank meets twice a month in the Picoaza neighborhood of Portaviejo, a city known for its happy people, its traditional culture and its Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul.

Our member, Sra. Maria, 33, lives with her husband. They have three children, 12-, 7- and 3-years old, respectively. The two oldest children are now in school. Her husband drives a taxi for a living.

Sra. Maria operates a clothing and cosmetics sales business to help her husband with household expenses and runs the family home. She stocks her business with products--clothing, Avon and Yanbal cosmetics--that she orders from catalogs and sells them from door to door. She works two or three hours a day, three days a week. She works in the mornings mostly because that's when her two oldest children are in school. She takes her youngest child along on her calls because she doesn't have anyone to leave him (or her) with, but she's never given up. She sells on credit and collects from her customers every eight days. She has operated the business for a year and says that she is happy with her progress.

Sra. Maria is applying for a new loan because the last one, she says, was very helpful to her business. She adds that her business earnings covered the costs of much needed medical care for one of her children and that he (or she) is much better now. She will use this loan to stock her retail business with clothing, cosmetics, etc. She started the community bank and says that loans have been very important for her business.

For the future, she wants to open her own store.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jere Wiseman

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