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Alva Luz
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.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

This is a unique loan product as repayments are linked to a percentage of profits. Borrower will pay a percentage of profits up to two-times the original principal. By linking repayments to profits, instead of fixed repayment amounts, borrowers can be assured that Namaste is really commited to making their business succeed. 

In addition to a micro-loan, through its STARZ Program, Fundacion Namaste Guatemaya, provides its borrowers with the business support that will help their enterprises grow. 

Namaste provides financial literacy, business education, cash flow analysis, and opportunities for entrepreneurs to to share experiences and best practices. The capstone of their model are Business Advisors that provide each borrower with one-on-one mentoring. 

Namaste measures it success through the increase in profits of its borrowers and with this product, it is explicitly linking repayments to those profits. 

Of the more than 900 Namaste borrowers who have completed the business development program, on average their profits increased by 41%.  Namaste clients are averaging USD2.50 per hour vs the Guatemala minimum wage of UDS1.00.

About Fundacion Namaste Guatemaya

Fundacion Namaste Guatemaya (Fundacion Namaste) is a non-profit organization in Guatemala that focuses on empowering women with microloans and mentoring. Its flagship program is the Namaste Business Development Program (NBDP), which combines personalized mentorship, financial literacy and customized microloans to help women entrepreneurs formalize their business models and increase their profits.

To date, approximately 1,000 women have completed the NBDP program, and over 500 women are actively enrolled. Kiva lenders’ funds enable Fundacion Namaste to reach even more women in Guatemala, particularly in rural and idigenous communities.

Fundacion Namaste joined Kiva through our Experimental Partnership Program, and has therefore received a lighter level of due diligence. Accordingly, loans associated with this partner carry a higher level of risk than typical Kiva loans.


About Guatemala

  • $5,300
    Average annual income
  • 72
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $12,593,650
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.9
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD
Paying Back

This loan has been fully funded!

A loan of $3,800 helped Alva Luz to pay for a new bookstore and paper products lines in her store.
86% repaid
Repayment Term
35 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
At end of term
Dec 12, 2013
Dec 3, 2013
Currency Exchange Loss: