A loan of $675 helped to buy a bigger stove to grow her business as well as supplies to make food.

Bertha Otilia's story

Bertha is 57 years old and the mother of eight children who vary in age from 22 to 33. She is a native of Santa Fe de Mompox. Years ago, she and her husband decided to move to the city of Barranquilla so that their children could study there. Since life in this city is more expensive, Bertha decided to open her own business in food sales. Her business grew in this city, but six years ago, for unrelated reasons, the family had to move to the city of Cartagena de Indias, where they live and work today. Bertha sells a variety of fried and grilled foods. She works Tuesday through Sunday until 10 p.m.

Bertha is requesting a Kiva loan, her second with the Fundación Mario Santo Domingo, in order to buy a stove to expand her business as well as buy supplies so she can prepare bigger quantities of food. She wants to take advantage of the upcoming holiday season, which is a very good time for her business. With her previous loan from the Fundación, Bertha was able to improve the infrastructure of her business. She added a display window and was able to buy basic ingredients in larger quantities at discounted prices. With these she was able to keep a good supply of foods on display for customers, which helped increase her profits.

Bertha's goal for the future is to turn her business into a full restaurant. She also hopes that her children become tomorrow's professionals. It makes Bertha and her husband very happy to see them always working.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ellen Craven

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