A loan of $1,100 helped a member add new products to her clothes business and increase her profits.


Mujeres Negociantes (Business Women) Group's story

The women of this group, located in the municipality of San Francisco, Suchitepéquez, are calling themselves the Mujeres Negociantes (Business Women) as that is precisely how they see themselves. Each of them is eager to improve their lives and families and they believe they will be able to do this through their businesses, despite the difficult economic situation in Guatemala. The group is composed of a diverse collection of businesses that includes small stores selling daily need products, clothing sales, shoe sales and even a Christian bookstore.

Gabriela Cecilia is one of the members of the Mujeres Negociantes. She is a young single mother with a 4 year-old son, whom she has been raising on her own for the last three years. Gabriela has an 8th grade education. Two years ago, her mother gave her Q500 (US$65) to host a birthday party for her then 2 year-old son. However, instead of investing in a party, Gabriela Cecilia took the money and bought blouses and pants to re-sell, igniting her entrepreneurial spirit. She realized that she and her child’s need went beyond a one day event and she thought if she could make money on the money given to her by her mother, she would be able to provide for herself and her son.

Since that day, Gabriela has continued to be involved in the sale of clothes. Her dream is to increase her stock of products and add lingerie to her business as well as purchase her pants in blouses in bulk. She currently has a profit of Q639 (US$83) and works 2 hours a day Monday thru Friday, averaging $1.38/hour. Her business plan shows that with a loan of she will be able to improve her stock of lingerie, blouses and pants. She is going to increase her area of sales (which she does door to door) and she plans to double her working hours. Her foreseen profit is Q1,546 (US$201) per month.

Gabriela’s inspiration is her son. She is working hard to improve her business to be a positive role model to him and raise a good man!

Gabriela is the first one from left to right on the picture.

In this group: Etelvina Leticia, Iris Madahí, Delia Celeste, Gabriela Cecilia, María Isabel, Heliberta Emperatriz
*not pictured



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