A loan of $3,800 helped to pay for a new bookstore and paper products lines in her store.

Alva Luz's story

Alva is 40 years old and married with three children (ages 20, 18 and 15). She has a 6th grade education and a degree as a beautician. Two of her sons are high school graduates, one with a specialization in Administration and the other in Hotel and Tourism. Her youngest son is in 9th grade. She knows the value of education for herself and for her children.

Alva has owned a combination general store and beauty shop in San Juan del Obispo near Antigua, Guatemala for three years. Alva is seeking a loan of GTQ30,000 for expansion and growth. She has observed that many local residents take time-consuming trips to Antigua to buy things that she could be profitably selling there in San Juan. Her dream is to create a small supermarket in her building as there isn’t one locally.

Her first steps will be to use the beauty shop area and some spare rooms in her attached home, to accommodate new product lines such as bookstore items, paper products and metal goods. She will also expand her offerings of food and household items. She will begin accepting debit cards, hire an additional worker and blanket the community with flyers and posters. It is the size and scope of what she is trying to do that make her an exceptional candidate for the advanced training and larger loan of the Namaste Starz program.

In working with Fundación Namaste Guatemaya (FNG), Alva recently completed its nine-month Basic Business Development program and increased her monthly profits by 33% to GTQ9,000. Alva is highly motivated as shown by the fact that she works 70-hour weeks to achieve her goals! Now by working with FNG’s STARZ program she is aiming for monthly profits of GTQ11,824 by the end of 2014.

The STARZ program is unique in the world of microfinance as the loan repayments are tied to the profits of the borrower instead of being fixed payments. Since loan payments are linked to profits she can ride out business cycles or other unforeseen events.

Through the STARZ program high potential women receive intensive business coaching bi-weekly over two to three years. They also receive a formal six-month education in financial literacy and business operations that leads to a diploma in Small and Medium Enterprise Management by the Guatemalan Technical Institute for Training and Productivity (INTECAP). Credit is not generally available to women with businesses of this size, so an important program element is a right-sized business loan.

The women also receive coaching in leadership, economic and gender empowerment, and renegotiating household power relationships. By working with Fundación Namaste Guatemaya, the STARZ participant and her business advisor have a continuous-loop, real-time monitoring, evaluation and learning system.

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details