Small business owner working in Guatemala

Fund it Forward: Women Entrepreneurs in Guatemala

3 min read • Mar 11, 2020 • Mary Kate Miller

At Lendio, it’s not just about what we do. It’s about why we do it. We’re invested (pun intended) in fueling the American Dream. As a part of the Ledio Gives program, we’re committed to extending that mission through microloans around the world. 

For every loan facilitated on the Lendio marketplace, Lendio Gives donates a percentage of funds to Kiva, a nonprofit that funds entrepreneurs around the world via microloans. Because giving back is baked into our company culture, 85% of Lendio employees make recurring donations to the Kiva program. 

This week we’re checking in on Guatemala to see what local entrepreneurs have done with their Kiva funds. 

Friendship Bridge Trust Bank Mujeres Con Fe (“Women with Faith”) Chimaltenango

Chimatlenago, Guatemala

When a small business owner has success with their first round of business financing, they are more likely to apply for a second or third loan. That’s the case for 7 women from Chimaltenango, Guatemala, who are currently finalizing their second microloan. In addition to helping them support a better life for their families, the first microloan enabled the women to increase the capital of their businesses—selling regional foods, clothing, firewood, and a catalog selling personal care and home products. 

One woman, Ana, gets a special shout out. Ana, who has 3 children between the ages of 2 and 6, took out her first loan to help with her business selling firewood and delicious cold drinks. It went so well that she’s decided to expand into a third product: fresh corn tortillas. 

“The experience in bank Communal allows me to have access to loans,” Ana said, along with educational opportunities that “help us with our leadership skills, and so much more.” The profits from the business have allowed Ana to provide basic necessities for her children. 

Valle Verde Community Bank

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

If you don’t have the capital to purchase more inventory, it can limit your business. That’s true whether you’re running a retail operation in Salt Lake City, Utah, or a small business in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The women of the Valle Verde Community Bank, a group of 7 women, used their first Kiva loan to secure more inventory for their businesses, which range from selling food to second-hand clothing. 

Ruth, the owner of the second-hand clothing business, received a loan 7 months ago. She used the funds to purchase wholesale clothing items in different sizes. With the new clothes, Ruth said she was able to “[provide] a better service to my clients who visit my small business every day.” The profits help to support her son, 7, in school. 

“La Paz” Community Bank

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

A total of 9 women work together as part of the “La Paz” Community Bank in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The microloan they received from Kiva allowed them to increase the success of their businesses and in turn, provide for their families. The businesses vary from the sale of fruit and seafood to beauty salons and sewing workshops. 

Griminda, a recipient of the loan, shared, “The loan supported me a lot.” The capital allowed her to invest in her food-sales business and purchase high-quality ingredients, including “shrimp, fish, rice, corn, potatoes, and meat.”

Of her experience with the Kiva loan, Griminda said, “I feel happy because the business capital has grown and I have the necessary capital to continue investing.” 

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Mary Kate Miller

Mary Kate Miller is a writer based in Chicago, IL. She specializes in covering finance (personal and business), investing, and real estate. Her mission in life is to give readers the confidence and the knowledge needed to grow their wealth by making financial topics more accessible. When she's not writing about topics like business loans, you can find her playing armchair financial advisor to the Real Housewives.