A loan of $3,450 helped a member to buy chicken, sausages, soft-drinks, bread, mayonnaise, oil, napkins, ham and cheese.

El Progreso Group's story

This communal bank is called “El Progreso Unido” (United Progress) and it has 18 entrepreneurs who carry out a variety of activities among which are barber shop, street market vendor, turnover sales, bread sales, sewing, home items sales and services, among others. All are from the city of Valparaíso.

Estrella is a communal bank member and in the photo is seated in the first row, second from right to left, wearing brown pants and shirt with a black jacket; her hair is brows and she wears it loose. She’s been selling fast-food for the last nine years. She tends to her stand from Monday through Friday from 11am until 6pm with help from her daughter; she sells cheese turnovers, Napolitana turnovers [filled with ricotta and tomato], shrimp with cheese, full meals, chicken and meat hamburgers, sandwiches, soft-drinks and sweets in general.

She buys the merchandise and ingredients as needed in supermarkets, bakeries, markets and from suppliers that provide quality products at low prices which is advantageous economically. She will use the loan to buy chicken, sausages, soft-drinks, bread, mayonnaise, oil, napkins, ham and cheese. One of Estrella’s goals is to buy a container she can install in her business because it comes complete with floor, dishwasher and furniture to provide good customer service.

Estrella lives with her daughter who helps her sell fast-food and also lives with her one-year-old granddaughter. Her dream is to be in good health to continue with her business where she so enjoys taking care of her customers. She’s very happy and grateful for the opportunity Fondo Esperanza has given her because it’s allowed her to invest in her business. She also feels very comfortable in the company of her fellow entrepreneurs in the communal bank because they share different activities and interests which has been a way for her to enjoy herself for a time. With respect to the training offered during the meetings, she’s learned how to better manage her business.

Valparaíso is located 120 kilometers northwest of Santiago. It’s the regional capital and seat of the national legislative branch of government. It’s the nation’s main port and it has a variety of beautiful, picturesque sites like for example Nobel Prize laureate Pablo Neruda’s house.

In this group: Estrella, Victor, Manuel, Maria Eugenia, Maria Elena, Jessica, Margarita, Ana, Mercedes, Jorge, Sandra, Ingrid, Juana, Maria, Carmen, Alejandra, Francisca, Rosa

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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