Microloans empower Colombian parents

by Opportunity International
May 23, 2012

Jose Mes Julio- a parent and small business owner

Jose Julio is married to Juana Maza. Together they have five kids. In general, Jose Julio is not a serious man. He loves to smile and laugh. However, when it comes to his business, he gets serious.

Three years ago he began as a trust group client in the group La Fe de Gambote. In his first loan cycle, he borrowed 200,000 pesos to buy the ingredients to make and sell breakfast everyday. He would wake up everyday around 4 am to make and sell breakfast until noon. .

Today Jose’s trust group has split up into two solidarity groups. Solidarity groups differ from trust groups in that rather than having 10-15 members, they have 4-6 members with greater loan amounts, and these clients make monthly loan payments versus weekly. In his first loan cycle with the solidarity group La Fe, Jose has received 1,000,000 pesos.

Money from Opportunity allowed him to start a second business selling clothes in his neighborhood. Before working with the organization, he made around 50,000 pesos everyday. Now he makes a daily average of 100,000-200,000 pesos from the two businesses.

Jose remarks that he stays much busier with these two businesses but also makes twice the income. He and his wife sell breakfast in the morning, then Jose walks his neighborhood selling clothes the rest of the day. Through the organization, he also generated more than 1,000,000 pesos in savings. This money enabled him to repaired his house when the river flooded last year and supplied extra capital for his business.

The money Jose brings in from his business has helped him provide for his family, send his children to school and improve his community.


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Organization Information

Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.opportunity.org
Project Leader:
Ian Haisley
Director of Online Strategy
Oak Brook, IL United States

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