Here's what the KIVA site had to say about Jose:
"José buys blocks of ice and ice cream treats to stock his carts, which he uses to travel around and sell ice cream, to the delight of the children in his area. He wants to invest in repairing his tricycles and purchasing ice cream products to make his business more effective.
His goal is to eventually finish construction of his house and improve his living conditions, since his home and family were affected by heavy rains. José is grateful for the support he has received, as he has been able to acquire loans with reasonable payment plans. With the support from previous loans, he has been able to increase his working capital and invest in his business.
His business was born two years ago, prompted by his father who has also been working in this line of business for over 5 years. When José started, he invested in a tricycle and gave it to his brother so he could start selling. As he realized the business that had resulted from this, he made two more tricycles. He hired two salespeople, and later added himself as well. Currently he sells throughout the beach and the two salespeople sell in a nearby township and some surrounding neighborhoods. He has approximately 1500 customers, and he works from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. He lives in his own home with two of his children, as the other three live with their mother and grandmother.
He lives in his own home with his spouse and two of his children. José loves his work, so wants to expand his coverage. He is very happy because he has the support of his family and his brother also works in this business. His infrastructure is two freezers located in his mother's house, where he stores the product and he plans to use his Kiva loan to replace expensive financial liabilities. These actions will allow rapid growth of the business. "
KIVA helps entrepreneurs the world over by giving them access to small loans for stock, seed, livestock or repairs. Whatever they need. It's called microfinance and the loans we make are usually too small for the bigger institutions to consider. The KIVA community pulls together to make up the requested loans, with most people contributing a mere US$25 to any one loan. In time this money is paid back and then we can once again lend the money out to someone else - the same $25 can help many people over a period of time. This is why we love KIVA so much, a small contribution goes a long long way. We've put in just over $250 which has helped us fund $900 in borrowings.
If you'd like to check out KIVA for yourself, here's a LINK. At the moment there's a promotion going where they let you make a loan using a sponsor's money, so you can experience what KIVA is all about without spending a cent. We think it's worth a look - but then we're big fans of teaching someone to fish rather than giving them a fish. Cheers :)
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