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Clara Luz
Clara, age 59, lives in a domestic partnership and has 4 grown up sons (ages 33, 37, 39 and 40). She finished Primary School and has been active in her business ever since. Her partner works as a driver and also in agriculture, and helps her economically and emotionally to support the family. Clara´s biggest dream is to travel outside of Guatemala to explore other countries, especially Israel.

She has a creative, eco-friendly business in San Juan del Obispo, close to Antigua,Guatemala. She produces and sells crafted lamps that she distributes nationally with the help of her domestic partner and two of her sons. She uses many recycled items in the construction of her lamps. She has been very successful in past years, but has recently been affected by cheap Asian competition flooding the market.

In order to stay competitive Clara wants to secure a loan of GTQ20,000 over 24 months, in order to reinvest in her business and increase her sales in the future. Her projected monthly profit for 2014 is GTQ8,000, assuming that she sells 1200 lamps of different sizes each month. This implies an increase in profit of 158% compared to her current profit of GTQ3,100 per month.

She wants to invest her loan money in new materials, such as specialty paper and stuffed animals, and in special tools for working with wood and ceramics. She is full of good ideas for new strategies to improve her sales such as finding new clients, hiring one of her sons full time, and starting to produce different styles of lamps, made out of pottery and wood. 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.

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
  • 51
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $12,391,125
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.9
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $2,550 helped Clara Luz to buy new materials, such as specialty paper and stuffed animals, and special tools for working with wood and ceramics.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
24 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
At end of term
Dec 12, 2013
Dec 3, 2013
Currency Exchange Loss:
Mar 28, 2016