A loan of $1,000 helped a member buy corn buy bulk and dry wood to improve her production/selling hours.

Mujeres Productivas Group's story

The Mujeres Productivas group is located in Canton Siglo II of municipality Santa Cruz Mulua, in the department of Retalhuleu, Guatemala.

The group is composed of six hard working women who have know each other for many years. They all are involved in the buying/selling or production/selling of food. In the early educational sessions provided by Fundacion Namaste Guatemaya prior to getting a loan, the group has demonstrated that they are motivated and very interested in learning how to keep control of their expenses and sales. The group also mentioned that previously nobody has taught them how to improve their business. Therefore they are eager to receive Namaste's Business Adviser monthly visit to quantify their business metrics and help improve their profits.

Lilian is 40 years old, a widow and is raising two kids who are under 15 years-old and are going to school (in the picture, you can see her 4th from left). Lilian does not know how to read and write and is living far away from her family. While she was living with her husband and raising their family, he suddenly fell ill and ultimately passed from an unknown illness. They exhausted their savings on medical bills and were forced to sell all of their appliances to pay doctors and hospital bills. Widowed and broke with two kids to raise, Lilian moved to a place where she pays no rent and gets electricity from the owner. She started selling tortillas [corn flatbread] door to door and now she has a place to make them and sell them too. Until now, she has been producing the tortillas for lunch and dinner.

Her dream is to be able to have enough money to buy wood and corn in bulk because it is cheaper and now with the rainy season, dry wood is very difficult to find. With these supplies, she will be able to start producing tortillas for breakfast to meet her clients requests. She wants to learn how to manage her money and separate and save it in a way that she can start purchasing all of the appliances she was forced to sell when her husband got sick.

Her actual monthly profit is Q1,740 (US$228) and she works 170 hours per month (US$1.35 profit per hour). Her business plan is to increase her profit by 40% by adding an additional selling time and by purchasing dry wood and corn in bulk.

In this group: Silvia Marisol, Elvia Patricia, Maria Antonia, Lilian Elizabeth, Ana Rosario, Zenaida

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