A loan of $6,300 helped a member to buy school supplies and groceries.

María José (Portoviejo) Group's story

The María José community bank is made up of 12 women who decided to get together a while ago to create the bank, which has helped them a lot. They meet every fortnight in the Picoaza parish in the city of Portoviejo, an area which is known for being a business district as well as hosting the traditional festivals of San Pedro and San Pablo, but most of all the city is used for informal commerce.

Martha is one of the group members. She is 35 years old, married and has two children with her husband who are 17 and 8. The older one is in high school and the younger one goes to primary school. Her husband is a business man.

Seeing that her husband was not earning much in agriculture, Martha gathered all her savings and with the help of a loan she received from the community bank she began a business selling school supplies and stationery from her home. Her business is going very well as her home is very close to the high school so she has guaranteed sales. A little while ago she began selling fish ceviche and some lollies which have increased her earnings. Thanks to the loans that she has received she has now been running this business for six years, which has helped her to keep moving forward and improve her life.

This loan will go towards buying school supplies and groceries to prepare meals. She has been with the community bank since its inception and she likes it because she was able to start her business with a loan she received from them.

Her goal is to continue to improve her business.

In this group: Mercedes Catalina Del Consuelo, Verónica Janeth, Carmen Narciza, Carmen Marysela*, Martha Yesenia, Ines Candelaria, Wendy Lizbeth*, Dolores Nelicita, Dgini Vicenta, Olga Patricia, María Auxiliadora, Lucelina Asuncion
*not pictured

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Suzanne Grasso

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