Bolivia: Selling ice cream fulfills a dream
This month our country of focus is Bolivia, where World Vision’s Strong Women, Strong World initiative is providing financial training, services and savings groups for women entrepreneurs in Bolivia. Loans are offered to disadvantaged Bolivians, allowing them to generate income through agriculture, raising livestock, neighborhood services, and local trade. The following story was contributed by Jenny Escobar, World Vision Bolivia.
Isaca is living her dream.
Born into a poor family, she has experienced the early death of her mother and the abandonment of her father. She started to work as a child. Then, at an early age, she was married and now has six children with her husband.
Hoping to give them a better life, she started to work with her aunt selling ice cream. At the beginning, Isaca used to sell ice cream in local neighborhoods and schools and her aunt would pay her $7-8 per day.
One day Isaca decided to be independent and began to buy ice cream from her aunt. Little by little she sold her own ice cream, saving her money. After eight years she was able to buy her own machine to make ice cream. Since then, she has purchased three little carts to sell ice cream in the neighborhoods and schools in Vinto and Quillacollo.
Access to credit
Isaca says that World Vision “has helped us a lot, with school material, nutrition, sewing, bakery and also, thanks to them I met FUBODE.” FUBODE is the Bolivian Development Foundation, the microfinance institution in Bolivia. At a World Vision meeting, Isaca found out that FUBODE gives credits. Since she was thinking of building her house (a dream she had for a long time), she went to the Office in Quillacollo to ask for the requirements. “I was told that I met all the requirements. That way I received a credit to build my little house”, says Isaca.
Isaca received a credit for her house of 6.000 USD, which she will finish paying in 2014. She has punctually paid each fee.
Thanks to the experience acquired by selling ice cream, Isaca began to develop her business. Today, she has three carts in which she sells ice cream. In high season, when classes start, she hires two women who assist her. She earns twice as much as she did before, and even more during the school season. This income is helping her to pay her debt and to cover the needs of her 6 children.
In the future, Isaca wishes to have a store in the house she is building. She wants her children continue their studies and to be professionals so they won’t suffer as she has.
“I want to have a big store to be at home with my children and continue to sell ice cream. Meanwhile I have to keep on working. Little by little my dream is getting fulfilled”, said Isaca.