In November 2018, an exciting new aspect of the microloan project began when 8 experienced participants with solid business plans were given additional training and larger loans. A few of these "Entrepreneurs" used their one-time $400 to $650 loan to purchase extra merchandise to sell for Christmas.
Kelita bought a stylist chair, a wash basin and chair, and hair products to open a beauty salon in her home. Dina used her loan to register her business legally in order to sell food to the school near her home. Reyna and her husband purchased equipment for their iron workshop.
These women repeatedly expressed what a great benefit these larger loans were in increasing their sales. ADEHGUA staff, who administer the project, will be working with other women to become Entrepreneurs in the future.
Entrepreneuriship of Leticia
Sale of Silver Jewelry and American Apparel (used)
Lety has been part of the micro loan group since the first cycle, and little by little her life and that of her two children has been improving, thanks to her business that has been growing. However, she could not invest enough, her regular customers asked her for a certain style of jewelry with higher prices, but Lety was not able to make that investment, the capital she had to work with was too small. For the end of the year parties’ people tend to buy more, so knowing that she could count on a larger loan to increase her business, she was very happy and filled with hope. She was able to buy a variety of jewelry to be able to meet the demands of her clients; she also purchased used American clothing.
Lety is an enterprising woman with a lot of faith and desire to excel, always looking for ways to enlarge her market (clients). When she went to visit her sisters in Guatemala City, she took products to sell, and thanks God and her faith, she was able to sell all the products she was carrying.
For Lety and her children this was a different Christmas and New Year celebration, because she could make the traditional tamales and buy sweets, grapes and apples, unlike the previous years. Lety feels a great satisfaction with herself; she sees the joy of her children and is happy to be able to share these special days together; all this is very important to her, so that her heart is full of gratitude to God and also for the people who made the realization of her dreams possible.
She asked that these words be shared with the donors: "I thank the brothers and sisters for their financial help, I am a single mother and this support is a blessing because it helps me get ahead."
Entrepreneurship of Yazmín
Cafeteria and internet
Yazmín is an accountant by profession and is currently about to finish her law degree; this is the last year of her studies. She is 33 years old as is her husband; he works for a collection company. They have three children, ages 10, 5, and 2. Yazmín has used the microcredit funds to sell clothes, shoes, perfumes, makeup, creams, and beauty and hygiene products. She also worked in a collection company, but had to resign because of the risks of riding on a motorcycle to collect the money, and because of crime in the area. Like most women, sometimes her sales go well and other times not so well. She was left without work, with three children, two of whom are studying, and with her expenses at the university. The family had more expenses than income. Yazmín and her husband started selling desserts and food once or twice a week; at Christmas and on Valentine's Day she sold cookies. Little by little the sales have been increasing and the clientele too, so they have decided to install a cafeteria. Their house is in front of a university, and Yazmin considers it a good opportunity. She has started to organize her ideas, has formulated her work plan, and plans to open the cafeteria at the end of March. Her father, who is a carpenter, will help her build the furniture she needs in the cafeteria.
Entrepreneurship of Marcia
Sale of Christmas Items
Marcia was planning to improve her activity for several months, explaining that she had ideas on how to grow her business, but the problem was the lack of capital. Due to the expenses for the education and care of her four children, she had to reduce her capital investment.. Her lack of investment was evident as the store had few products to sell and often there was no one to receive customers. She decided to look for a job outside the house, the expenses were many and her income very small.. Besides, her spirits were very low due to family problems and that effected her work in the store.. She saw no way out except to leave the business and work in a warehouse or in domestic jobs, in whatever it was availabe, really what she wanted was to have a little economic stability.
Marcia went through some very difficult months. After reflecting on what had happened, how her situation had deteriorated so much; she realized that it was because of personal problems that she worried and made bad business decisions.. Her children encouraged her and asked her not to abandon her business... Marcía thought again about her decision and decided to try again with the few remaining products in the store; customers came and she began to recover investment capital. Then the store began to grow again, but Marcia wanted to grow it more and to look for other ways to have more income.
She decided to take advantage of the Christmas season and buy products for the season, something she already had experience with. In the past holiday season she invested a minimum amount of capital and made profits, so in this new phase of the micro loan project she requested additional capital to install a large sale of fruits, fireworks and food for the Christmas season and end of the year.
Marcia and her children did very well during the holidays. Sales have been good; she went several times to make purchases to re-stock her shelves. The idea of making the galley and putting a large table to exhibit the products brought many advantages, not only regular customers bought, those who passed by on the street and saw their products so well organized, stopped and purchased items to take to their homes or give as gifts when they visited relatives.
Entrepreneurship of Dora and her son
Sale of pastries and cakes
Dora is a school teacher by profession. She has two children, one who studied to be an accountant and another who studies at the university. Dora is a single mother and it has been difficult to raise her children. That reason motivated Dora and her children to look for alternatives to generate income. Her older son has taken cooking courses and began to make a pastry that has nougat as its base; her younger son makes and sells dairy products. Both use the income from selling these products to pay for their studies.
Dora's son began to make meringues and he took them to bake in a wood oven that a relative let him use. Now this person is sick and can no longer work, so Dora's son has to bake the pastry in a gas stove. That is difficult because it is very small, the temperature is not adequate, and the cost of baking the pastry has risen.
Dora and her son want to set up a small bakery and pastry company; they have the space to build the oven and the facilities in which to work.
Entrepreneurship of Rosalba
Sale of clothing
Rosalba is a young woman with three children who entered the microloan project during the second cycle. Her initial business selling shoes went well. About a year and a half ago, she completed a sewing course and applied for an entrepreneur loan to buy a sewing machine so she could make clothing for women in her community. She was able to establish her workshop and gain clientele, however, she lost opportunities for work because she did not carry fabrics in her workshop. After repaying the first entrepreneur loan, she requested a second that she invested in buying fabric so she could offer not only her sewing services, but the raw material as well. This has helped her strengthen her business and establish herself. She has what it takes to make her business permanent.
Recently Rosalba created a beautiful dress and cape for a customer for her quinceañera (15th birthday). The girl and her family were extremely pleased with the results, which filled Rosalba with pride. Her happiness was not only in doing her job well, but in being recognized by others and in the future work and community recognition that will bring.
These experiences have had an impact on Rosalba and her family and have allowed Rosalba to grow personally. The microloan project is not only about establishing an economic activity and having a stable and permanent business. When women recognize their capabilities, there is a change in self-esteem and in the way women view themselves. Mildre from ADEHGUA observes that women are very creative and resourceful; what has often been lacking is opportunity.