Marisol is a single mom with two kids – 17 and 10. She has been part of a communal bank with ASEI for three years. When she first entered they didn’t offer an agricultural loan so she and her group took out a loan to support their small commercial businesses. Marisol approached the local elementary school to see if she could rent a space in the school to sell snacks and small meals. Since the school didn’t have the infrastructure (and there were no available spots in the community) she made do with a small space and a tarp.
Once ASEI began offering the agricultural loan (still through communal banks) her group switched products to harvest their land and raise animals. She rents a half of a manzana (1 manzana is approximately 1.736 acres) and plants beans, rice and sorghum. In 2016 she invested some of her profits to expand her shop at the school. She paid the school a few months rent at once and in turn they built a beautiful store front with a stone table. She sells candy, refreshments and makes pupusas, tortillas, coffee and more using the goods from her small farm. She explains that in her community (and larger area) there are very few available jobs, so you have to have your small business to make ends meet. Through ASEI she has been able to strengthen her two businesses. She works at the store during the week and tends to her farm in the afternoon and on the weekends.
Microfinance Partner: La Asociacion Salvadoreña de Extensionistas Empresariales del INCAE (ASEI)
ASEI is an institution providing multiple financial and non-financial products for the microenterprise sector, mostly poor and enterprising women, in order to improve their family’s living conditions, income level, and business development. ASEI is also committed to seeking the economic sustainability of ASEI and its employees.