A loan of $750 helped to fix up a space in her house to sell cosmetics.

Stephany Lissette's story

Stephany is a young, 20-year-old woman, who has run into many challenges in her life. One of them was that she was unable to continue her professional training, despite her hard work, and only finished high school. Now she is trying to get ahead with her small son, and has the challenge of educating and supporting him. They live in Quinidé Canton in the province of Esmeraldas which supplies many cities of Ecuador with products such as bananas, cocoa, coffee, African palm and forest products. Commerce is the main work of the population in this area, especially now that there are more roads leading into this canton, allowing for a good amount of trade, especially on weekends. That is when all types of merchants go to the markets in search of potential customers, most of whom are farmers. Tourism is also an important activity for this canton because of its natural ecosystem, with a variety of attractions, such as water falls, sweet water rivers, forests, and the flora and fauna that adorn the city.

Four years ago, Stephany learned from a friend how to sell cosmetics by catalogue, working as a street vendor. Despite having divorced her husband, she has sought out ways to care for her son, while also working hard to support him. With experience, she has learned how to manage her income correctly; and now that her son is growing, it is easier for her to go out to offer her products to customers. Every day she takes advantage of the opportunities and needs of her customers, most of whom are women. She feels ready to take the next step which is to set up business in one location. Therefore, she has decided to establish a space in her house where she can offer discounts and sale items as a strategy to attract customers. Stephany wants to earn more profit and spend more time with her son. That is why she has requested a loan to fix up a space in her house (by cleaning, painting, installing display cases, etc.) to sell cosmetics. Fundación Alternativa, thanks to work done by Kiva, was able to give her the loan and train her to run her business correctly.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Sherry Bess

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