A loan of $3,525 helped a member to buy t-shirts, scarves, detergents, and household goods.

Semilla De Esperanza Group's story

This communal bank is called “Semilla de Esperanza” and is made up of 18 enterprising men and women who work in different areas. These include boutiques, metal structure sales, clothing sales, and desserts, sale of household goods, among other things. All of them live in the city of Concepción.

Maria is a member of the communal bank, who is shown in the photograph, seated in the first row, second from the left, wearing blue jeans, an orange top, and a scarf. She has short hair and wears it loosely.

She has had a general store for the past six months and she says that she has a stall within an inside marketplace, where she sells her accessories. She works Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 8:00pm.

She buys her merchandise in different supermarkets, distributors, and shops in Santiago, where she can get it at lower prices and therefore more economically. She will use the money from this loan to buy t-shirts, scarves, detergents, and various household items.

One of Maria’s goals is to continue in this business and grow it daily and be able to move it to the city center so that she can increase her sales and income.

Maria lives with her two children, ages 19 and 17, who attend school. Her dreams are to have a vehicle so that she can transport her merchandise and grow her business. She also wants to have a home of her own.

She is very happy and grateful for the opportunity provided by Fondo Ezperanza because it helps her to grow her business. She says that there is good communication among the members of her communal bank and that the training has helped her learn new sales and accounting strategies.

Concepción is located at the mouth of the Biobío river, one of the largest in the country, in the south of Chile, in the Biobío region. It has an important historical significance, having been the center of important battles and settlements, especially during the Arauco War, being located on the border of the mapuche territory. Currently the city has an important economic and demographic development, being considered to be one of Chile’s most relevant urban demographic, administrative, financial, and business nuclei, after Santiago y Valparaíso.

In this group: Maria Angelica, Valentina, Carmen, Luis, Paola, Rosa, Elsa, Claudia, Geraldine, Solange, Sandra, Veronica, Elba, Carola, Roxana, Elsa, Isabel, Patricia

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Hugo Reyes

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