A loan of $1,400 helped to buy ink, paper products, notebooks, and pens.

Marleny's story

Marleny, 34, lives in the city of Barranquilla, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, where she set up her own business to offer Internet service, photocopies, and telephone calls, and she sells stationery products. Her experience goes back 22 years when she was making a living selling services and merchandise when she was employed as the manager of a boutique.

The idea for the business was her brother's, because her godfather had bought a store and had an empty space for her where she set up her own small-business venture, adapted the space, and bought display cases. She added computers a little at a time and with her brother made them work. Her customers are people from her neighborhood and other areas who know her and come to get the services and products she offers in her business.

Currently she's applying for her second loan from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo, her first Kiva loan. She sells on credit and in cash, but the money she has isn't enough to meet demand in one of the most beautiful seasons. Christmas and New Year are the reason for celebration and the getting together of families who usually spend their money in Marleny's business.

With the previous loan she stocked her business and increased sales. Now she hopes to improve on her past result by taking advantage of demand to invest her Kiva loan in what people need: ink, paper products, Christmas items, pencils, packaged gifts, folders, pens, notebooks, pencils, and sweets--all the products she sells in her store.

Marleny is directing all her efforts into improving her business and, with that, her income. She dreams of having her own house in the future and of benefitting her entire family.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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