By Melinda Clark | January 15, 2021

Juana: She gave her community a place to come in a crisis

Over the years, her business growth prepared her family to navigate the pandemic.

In the town of Consuelo, Juana operates a colmado from her home, a corner store that sells food, drinks, and basic necessities. Since joining Esperanza 15 years ago, Juana has seen tremendous personal, professional, and spiritual growth. A mother of five, she has noticed the effect of her business growth on her family dynamics. Her adult children used to spend more time helping her but also would ask more often for help. As they have begun to provide for their families, Juana has also become more independent, running her business on her own while her children care for theirs. Now, Juana says, her children are her friends.
With her very first loan of $5,000 pesos ($86 USD), Juana saw her business start to boom. She used the loan to buy more clothing for her store, which flew off the racks. Before this loan, Juana described her business as being rather small, and she did not have a sense of pride in it. All this has changed, and Juana the feeling that she is directing the growth of her business in a professional way. And if you were to ask Juana about her relationship with the Lord, her eyes would light up. She would be quick to tell you that each day she rejoices in the breath of life that the Lord has given her and she thanks Him.
Juana currently has two loans that she is managing. Despite the pandemic, her sales have stayed steady and she has seen God use her to be a blessing in her community during these difficult times, a reality that keeps growing Juana’s hope and confidence. She is expanding to include medicine for cold symptoms in her store, which is positioning her colmado as a one stop shop for her neighbors. They can get everything they need from Juana. Even in the challenges of the pandemic, Juana is celebrating the blessings of being able to innovate and grow her business. Her family is flourishing, something she would not have imagined a few years ago.

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Microfinance is a banking service which exists to serve the material poor in emerging economies. Through this lending process, loans are distributed to entrepreneurs for investment in their business.

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