A loan of $6,600 helped a member to buy fabric, thread, and wool.

Caminando Hacia El Futuro Group's story

The ‘Cambiando Hacia el Futuro' [Changing Towards the Future] communal bank is comprised of 16 entrepreneurs who make their livings in different areas including pastries, bazaar type store, sewing, selling sportswear, selling plastic items, selling household items, and providing services, among others. They all belong to the Conchalí commune in the city of Santiago.

Erica is a member of the communal bank. In the photo she is standing in the first row, and she is the third person from the right. She is wearing a red skirt and a turquoise top. Her hair is dark brown, and she wears it down.

She has been working with handicrafts for 20 years. She says that she works with her sister making handmade clothing. She works at her house and sometimes at the handicrafts fair. She has a person who works at the stand. Her work schedule is according to her availability.

She buys the merchandise and supplies she needs at the Comuna de Independencia, which specializes in selling fabric, thread, and other goods at a low cost. Therefore, it is cost effective.

She will use the loan to buy fabric, thread, and wool. One of Erica’s goals is to be able to become independent and to have her own place in order to grow as a small businesswoman. This way she will generate greater income and have a better quality of life.

Erica lives with her mother, two siblings, and her 25 year old son, who attends school. Her work and personal dreams are to become independent, to have her business, and to set herself up at an established place.

She is happy and grateful for the opportunity provided by Fondo Esperanza. It will allow her to invest in her business. She says that the trainings have been fundamental for her business and also for her personal development. She has learned to organize and distribute her income and investments in a better way. Regarding the group in her communal bank, she says that there is very good communication.

Conchalí is a commune within the metropolitan area of Santiago, Chile's capital, and it is located in the northern part of this area. It has a defined industrial area, and many financial activities and small businesses, including street markets, craft workshops, garages, and bus terminals, etc. The microenterprise sector is very relevant to its commercial activity.

In this group: Erica, Bernardita, Cynthia, Gilberto, Bernarda, Pamela, Lilian, Yolanda, Macarena, Gladys, Rosa, Gaston, Yolanda, Rosa, Mireya, Andrea

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ginny Kalish

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