Wednesday, November 28, 2007

KIVA: two new loans

Two new KIVA loans made possible by KIVA borrower repayments. The first goes to a group of women in Guatemala (I think this is the first time I have seen a group loan effort):

The clients of the ComUnity (the term used by Friendship Bridge for their communal banks) Chikuwa have an astute and patient attitude, a combination that helps them to be the great business women that they currently are. The clients of ComUnity Chikuwa are models of micro-entrepreneurial women.

Several members of the group started selling huipiles (traditional Guatamalan dresses) and shoes in the streets of San Juan la Laguna, Sololá. However, with their current loan many of them have become successful business owners. For example, Susan Ujpán now has ten artisans working for her during the high season such as Christmas. Clara Perez is a micro-entrepreneur who began with a small business raising animals and who is now buying 100 chickens per month in order to fatten them and resell them 21 days later. Cecilia Ujpán decided to move into an unexplored field for many micro-entrepreneurs. She has a honey bee business. In addition, she has a windmill that she rents for grinding corn (an essential component for the preparation of corn tortillas).

The loans will be used in different ways. Many women are going to buy thread in order to make huipiles and embroidery. Clara Perez is going to use her loan to purchase more chickens, while María Mendoza is going to buy another windmill. María Yotz is going to invest her money in her diner. She needs a loan in order to purchase glasses, plates, benches and tables.

María Mendoza’s dream is that her business will prosper so that she will be able to open a hammock store and sell hanging beds in natural colors typical of the region. Elena Coche dreams of opening a successful knitting store. In that way she would be able to purchase more work from her providers and thereby have a positive impact on their lives. These business women are very important for Friendship Bridge and Guatemala. They only need some initial help in order to move forward, and you could be the one to give them that aid.

The second loan is for a woman looking to run a sandwich small business:

Faustina is said to be a many-sided woman. She is the kind of person that is willing to improve her life and is ready to strive to achieve her goals. She has three sons, aged 17, 16 and 13. All of them attend school.

Faustina has been selling women’s and children’s clothing for ten years. Recently she started to sell sandwiches and juice with a loan she took from FSMA. She operates the two activities in a much crowded place. The elder son helps her sell the goods. Her businesses have been very profitable insomuch as she could repay the loan and put aside money to keep on investing in her activities. At present, she has more facilities to help meet the expenses of the family and she is in better condition to improve the education of her children.

Faustina needs funds to purchase raw materials to supply her sandwich and juice business. She will keep preparing the dishes and will let her son run the business in the morning. She will concentrate upon the clothing sales. She explains that with just one activity she won’t be able to bear all the expenses of her family. She hopes she can get the funds soon to ensure the subsistence of her sales and make sure she can keep on improving her family’s living conditions.