Gift Catalogue – Help Start a Business
CCFC provided CAD$1,680 to help nine mothers and fathers start a small business to get incomes for their families. In total, 19 children directly benefited from the incomes generated by their parents. The funds were provided through a Community Cooperative (Savings and Credit Cooperative “Flor de Mayo”) located in a CCFC graduated community, “Carlos Núñez Sur”, and managed by mothers. The funds will remain in the revolving credit system in order to benefit more families in the future.
As part of the process, the cooperative trained mothers and fathers in the development of business plans and is providing them with periodic technical assistance to ensure the success of the investments. The people who have benefited have been part of the creation of vegetable gardens that continue producing vegetables for their own consumption and/or can sell.
Below are examples of four CCFC-supported small businesses in the community of Sabana Grande:
1) School supplies, shoes and accessories:
María Elena Huerta is 31 years old. She lives with her husband Julio Castrillo (35 years old), her son Gustavo (10 years old) and her little daughter Rebeca (1.5 years old). María started her small business in 2013. She invested the money in shoes and school supplies to sell at home.
“It was a good idea opening this small business because children did not have a place to buy school supplies in the community; they had to go out to meet their school needs,,” María Elena said. She also invested in a glass showcase to exhibit her products where children go early in the mornings or during the afternoons to buy pens, pencils or notebooks, among other things.
“I also make and sell accessories for women such as earrings and handmade necklaces. I also offer shoes for women, since other mothers of the community are my costumers too.”
2) Spinach garden:
Cristina Peralta Oporta is 27 years old. She started to cultivate spinach one year ago for her family's own consumption. One day a friend who worked in a restaurant near the community asked for spinach to include in their menu and immediately Cristina had the idea of starting her business to provide the product every week. Cristina invested the money to buy seeds and accessories for her spinach garden.
“I went to the market to inquire about the price of spinach and I realized it was a good business. I am taking care of my garden with the idea of growing and offering the product to more customers”, she said.
Cristina is tending to her spinach garden with the idea of increasing production to offer more products to new customers.
3) Animation services:
Jaime Rodriguez Garcia is 41 years old. In the business environment he is best known as “Piropito” the clown. He and his family are dedicated to the animation business. They offer their services for children's parties. His wife and his daughter are in charge of the administration, contacting customers and making contracts, while he is the star who performs at functions.
Jaime invested the money in getting two pairs of new big shoes for his clown suit, business cards and makeup to perform his character “Piropito”.
4) Organic fertilizer:
Amparo Peralta is 34 years old and she is a graphic designer. Carmen Aviles is 31 years old and she is an economist. Both of them are mothers and none of them could get a job in their profession. They started their own vegetable and medicine garden one year ago with the support of CCFC and now they are in a joint venture with a third person to produce and sell their products.
They are producing not only vegetables and medicinal plants but also organic fertilizer. With the money they are improving their small business. They have invested in more materials, plastic bags to pack their products and created a brand and labels for the organic fertilizer.
“We are putting in practice our professional knowledge and personal skills in our own small business because we believe it is a very good alternative of getting incomes for our families”, said Amparo.