Micro-credits for Baru Island young entrepreneurs

by Fundacion Hernan Echavarria Olozaga
Vetted
Damaso
Damaso

Dear Donors,

First of all, we would like to thank you again for your generous donations to the project "Micro - credits for Baru Island young entrepreneurs". 

Thanks to all of you, to your constant support, the project has really impacted our beneficiaries’ life.

Our goal was to raise USD 10.490 to give micro-credits to 5 to 7 young low income entrepreneurs of Baru Island. Instead, thanks to you, we raised USD. 10.844 and granted 11 micro-credits to 8 beneficiaries:

Name         Business                                      Credit

María          Fast food sales                            $1.000.000

Irvin            Liquor and soft drink sales           $2.000.000

Germán      Fish sales and water sports         $1.800.000

Víctor          Seafood sales                              $2.500.000

Juan           Snorkeling equipment rental         $1.000.000

Ana             Variety store                                 $2.000.000

Damaso      Restaurant and seafood sales     $2.600.000

Yamileth       Seafood sales                             $2.000.000                

Víctor, Juan and Ana, received an extra credit after paying most of their initial loan, becuase of their good behavior (payment, participation in the counseling) and their business grouth.        

Additionally, we have:              

  • Provide administrative advise to the beneficiaries according to each of their businesses needs, and
  • Visit every month each of the beneficiaries, to follow up, until they have paid the entire loan.

For us in the Hernan Echavarria Foundation, it has been a great opportunity to learn from all of the beneficiaries. Their desire to succeed is an incentive for us to keep working.

We invite you to continue to work with us in order to raise more money to continue to support Baru Island entrepreneurs that have asked for micro-credits to grow their business, but this time also adults that are very interested.

With gratitude,

 

Ana Milena Ordosgoitia and the Hernan Echavarria Foundation Team 

Ana
Ana
Victor
Victor's business

Links:

Juan in Playa Blanca
Juan in Playa Blanca

Dear Donors,

Our eight report will consist on Juan’s story, one of our credit beneficiaries. We would like to tell you about him, his life, how and why he started his business, how the project you have supported has impacted his life and his business and what are his plans going forward.

About Juan

Juan was born in Santa Ana; he is now 25 years old. He is the third of 4 children.

When he was still a little boy his parents left him with his grandmother with whom he has lived most of his life.

Juan went to elementary school in Santa Ana but graduated from a school in Cartagena.

He has great memories from his childhood. Even though his parents separated when he was very young and he has lived with his grandmother, he has always counted on them.

When Juan graduated from school, he studied to be a bar tender and he worked with his father in a mechanics shop.

Afterwards, he decided to go back to Santa Ana in Baru Island and worked helping his uncle and cousins who worked at Playa Blanca (the local beach).

Then we worked in a hotel for a while.

¿When, how and why did the business started?

After working in the hotel, Juan wanted to go back to Playa Blanca (the local beach) to start his own business.

A friend told him that the snorkel gear rental was a profitable business and gave him some ideas on how to start.

This is how he decided to rent snorkel gear and to offer guided tours “for the tourists to explore Playa Blanca’s beautiful seafloor”.

He started his business 5 years ago with 400 thousand pesos (approximately 200 USD) that his mom lent him.

With this money he bought 3 snorkels and 6 vests. He saved some money from the profits and bought 3 more snorkels and 6 more vests.

Soon he had so many clients, that he needed more money to invest in his business, but he did not have enough capital.

Growing his business was his dream.

One day he heard about the project “Micro credits for Baru Island Young Entrepreneurs” and decided to go to the meeting the Foundation was inviting to get more information.

He asked his mother to be his cosigner, prepared everything for the Foundation’s visit, went to the advisories meetings to prepare his business plan and presented it to the credits committee.

The Project’s impact

Juan has received his second loan now, because of his good performance. First he received $1.000.000 and after he paid for it, he received $2.000.000.

He is working in team with a friend that has a boat so that together they offer to the tourists guided tours to “La Playita” to do snorkeling. They show them the coral reefs as well as a variety of fish and other species you can find in Baru Island.

He owns 16 snorkeling gears and 25 vests and bought a motorcycle to get everyday to the beach.

Juan is very motivated because his business is growing and because he has been able to help others through it. A few days ago, he gave some of his old vests to a friend so that he could start his own business too.

What are his plans going forward

Juan wants now to buy 2 water bikes because is something they don’t have in Playa Blanca and he thinks it would be innovative and attractive to tourists.

Thanks to all of you, to your constant support, the project has really impacted Juan’s life.

For us in the Hernan Echavarria Foundation, it has been a great opportunity to learn from him. His desire to succeed is an incentive for us to keep working.

We invite you to continue to work with us in order to achieve our total funding goal of $10,490.

With gratitude,

 

Ana Milena Ordosgoitia M. and the Hernán Echavarría Olózaga Foundation team

Juan with a coworker
Juan with a coworker

Links:

Business counseling - Ana
Business counseling - Ana

Dear Donors, 

First of all, we would like to thank you again for your generous donations to the project "Micro - credits for Baru Island young entrepreneurs". 

The following is a brief summary of the progress of the project, you have supported:

1. On June 2014 we invited all the interested people in participating in the project (young entrepreneurs between 18 and 25 years old) to a meeting in our office in Santa Ana, Baru Island, in which we told them about the project and its terms and conditions.

2. 4 young entrepreneurs interested in the project, returned the completed forms, and provided the documents they were asked for. Only 2 had a positive report in the risk management centers.

3. They both (Ana and Juan), were trained in preparing their business plan.

4. On June 26 the Foundation team visited the candidate’s homes and businesses to verify the information provided.

5. On July 16, the second credit committee was held, in which 2 new credits were approved:

 

Beneficiary’s age     Business                               Credit (COP)     Term              Monthly fee

21                            Variety store                           $2.000.000        24 months       $101.012

25                            Snorkeling equipment rental     $1.000.000        12 months       $91.252

 

6. On July 18, the selected beneficiaries received the money of the credits approved and signed the commitment letter to observe the project’s rules.

7. The Foundation team has visited every month the 2 new beneficiaries. During those visits, we have verified that:

  • Both of them invested the money according to their business plan.
  • Their businesses have grown.
  • They both have saved and reinvested in their businesses.
  • It has been very important for them to have their families support.

8. They have received 4 advice visits in topics such us: basic accounting principles, inventory management, marketing and sales record.

9. Regarding one of our first beneficiaries (Victor), we are pleased to inform that he paid for the whole credit in order to apply to a bigger one, to buy a boat he needed for his business. After studying his request, the project committee decided to grant him a new credit for COP $5.000.000.

In the coming days we will continue to:

  • Visit every month each of the beneficiaries to follow up, until they have paid the entire loan.
  • Start the selection process to identify more young entrepreneurs interested in applying to the project.

Thanks to all of you, to your constant support, the project has really impacted our beneficiaries’ life.

For us in the Hernan Echavarria Foundation, it has been a great opportunity to learn from them. Their desire to succeed and to improve their quality of life, are an incentive for us to keep working.

We invite you to continue to work with us in order to achieve our total funding goal of $10,490.

We will continue to post regular reports to keep you informed on the project progress.

With gratitude,

 

Ana Milena Ordosgoitia M. and the Hernan Echavarria Olozaga Foundation team

Monthly visit - Juan
Monthly visit - Juan
Ana
Ana's business
Victor
Victor's business

Links:

Ana in her business
Ana in her business

Dear Donors,

Our sixth report will consist on Ana’s story, one of our credit beneficiaries. We would like to tell you about her, her life, how and why she started her business, how the project you have supported have impacted her life and her business and what are her plans going forward.

About Ana

Ana was born on September 2 1993. She is now 21 years old.

Her parents Blas and Francia are both native and merchandisers. As she says, she knew she wanted to be a merchandiser too, because of her mother, who was always selling things because she did not want to depend on anybody, she wanted to have enough money for her needs.

Ana is the third of six children. She graduated from school and she is studying to be a Hotel Receptionist.

She is married to Jose, who works at “Playa Blanca” the nearest beach to Santa Ana, the town were they live with their 2 years old son.

¿When, how and why did the business started?

Ana has always liked to sell things. When she still lived with her parents, she helped her mom.

When she decided to move in with Jose, she noticed that in the neighborhood there weren’t much stores so she decided to start her business. She wanted to have a “Variety Store” but didn’t have enough money to do it, so she started to sell ice and “bolis” (frozen juices) and she saved the money she needed to buy her first showcase.

At this point, Ana didn’t have her parents support, who were angry at her because she had left the house. On the other side, Jose, her husband, thought the business wasn’t a good idea, because of its location.

Despite all that, Ana decided to go on. So she had her new showcase but not money at all to buy goods to fill it. In the meantime, she started selling by catalogs. Her dad now, as he saw her persistence helped her to buy on credit in one of the stores were he bought in Cartagena for his business, and her husband gave her $400.000 to buy more merchandise.

The sales got better and better every day and her clients kept asking for other products. She reinvested all the store incomes in the business as Jose supported the house and encourage her to study.

As her business grew stronger, Ana realized she needed to invest in it. She heard through the public speakers of the town about the project “Micro - credits for Baru Island young entrepreneurs”. She didn’t understand much about it so she went to the meeting called by the Hernan Echavarria Foundation to have more information and decided to apply.

 The Project’s impact

 Ana received a $2.000.000 loan, on July 2014.

 When we asked her about how the project has impacted her business and her life, she textually said:

“ This credit has been one of the best things that have happened to me this year, because my business grew, I bought a larger cabinet, could start buying by dozens (I previously bought 3 or 4 units of each product because I couldn’t afford to buy more) so I could buy cheaper and earn more on each product. Besides, I could attend my customers orders and now, I don’t only sell in my house (where the store is located), I also sell door to door products like sheets, towels and kitchen implements".

She told us the sales have increased. In those good days she has sold $150.000 and in a bad day about $30.000 to $40.000.

She saves around $300.000 weekly to invest in the business.

Ana feels happy for what she has reached and she is grateful for all the support she have received from her parents and form her husband.

What are her plans going forward

Ana dreams on having a larger space for her business (today she has her business in her living room) and on selling other products such us clothes. But her main goal is for her son to "(...) have a good education and to be a good human being”.

Thanks to all of you, to your constant support, the project has really impacted Ana and her family’s life.

For us in the Hernan Echavarria Foundation, it has been a great opportunity to learn from her. Her desire to succeed is an incentive for us to keep working.

We invite you to continue to work with us in order to achieve our total funding goal of $10,490.

With gratitude,

 

 Ana Milena Ordosgoitia M. and the Hernán Echavarría Olózaga Foundation team

Ana in her business 2
Ana in her business 2

Links:

Gina in her sewing room -2nd round loan grantee!
Gina in her sewing room -2nd round loan grantee!

Paige is GlobalGiving's Champion for Customer Bliss in our office in Washington, DC. During a trip to Colombia, she had the chance to visit some of GlobalGiving's projects. Here is her postcard from the field.

What one thinks of when hearing “Baru” and visiting Cartagena is generally turquoise waters and powdery, white sand beaches. However, there is another side to this tropical paradise, and it isn’t as simple as a coco loco on Playa Blanca.

I was picked up by the Hernan Echavarria Foundation’s fearless leader Ana in Cartagena, and we started making our way south of the city to Isla Baru. Recently made more accessible thanks to a bridge and paved road, the island is beautiful and rugged, but due to it’s previously remote nature, quite rural. This is where the foundation comes in! On top of the microloan program that is the focus of their GlobalGiving project, the Hernan Echavarria Foundation has a deep and broad portfolio of projects on Isla Baru including the creation of a entrepreneur’s school, an elderly community center, a road refurbishing advocacy program, traveling health care workers to offer free consultations, and much more. However this trip was focused on the impressive work that’s being done with their youth micro-loan program.

Bouncing down some dirt roads we came to Hernan Echavarria Fondation’s offices in the heart of the town of Santa Ana on Isla Baru. Their offices are clean, open, and welcoming for the community members wandering down the main road past it. Ana and I chatted in their recreational/multi-purpose room where trainings and workshops for the local mirco-loan recipients are held and munched on dangerously delicious cheese empanadas. After brainstorming about how GlobalGiving can further help their work we went out to visit some of the loan grantees!

First was a stop with Ana, a bright, smiling young woman who has a convenience stop in the town out of her home. “We chose her because she’s smart and organized! Everything is always perfectly in order.” Ana is training to be a receptionist in Cartagena, so on top of selling standard wares in her shop, she also takes orders for those unable to make the (costly) trek to Cartagena. When asked if she’d be closing the shop after completing her studies as a receoptionist she giggled and said no. She loved having her shop and she wanted to continue to expand and grow.

The second grantee I met was a woman who was on her second round of a loan working as a tailor in the town. Her home was crowded with kids and family and was also clean and well kept. We saw her workshop in the back of the building which housed her two sewing tables, a work table, and a series of screen printing patterns. Gina radiated confidence and assurance. She was indeed the queen of her castle. When I asked what the most important lesson was she had learned through the loan program, she said without hesitation, “Independence. I was able to move into my own home, have my own business, and now I’m teaching my daughter the importance of independence.”

And there lay the unexpected, but equally important windfall bonus to the microloan program on Isla Baru. Not only were young entrepreneurs (both men and women) creating new lives as business owners, but young women were becoming empowered. 

Ana in her shop with Foundation team!
Ana in her shop with Foundation team!
Outside "men
Outside "men's" area at the Elderly Center
Foundation team inviting locals to a workshop
Foundation team inviting locals to a workshop
The lovely ladies of Hernan Echavarria Foundation!
The lovely ladies of Hernan Echavarria Foundation!
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Fundacion Hernan Echavarria Olozaga

Location: Bogota, Cundinamarca - Colombia
Website: http:/​/​www.fundacionhernanechavarria.org.co
Project Leader:
Ana Milena Ordosgoitia
Cartagena, Colombia

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Fundacion Hernan Echavarria Olozaga that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.