Nicolasa Carolina López Rodriguez, who lives in a small town on the outskirts of Managua, recalls the tremendous hardships she endured as a young single mother: “My husband abandoned me, leaving me with five young children. When one of my kids suffered severe burns in a fire, I realized I had to find a way to meet life’s challenges on my own.”
She started a business making and selling tortillas to support her family, but could not afford to purchase corn in bulk quantities at a better price, so she struggled to make ends meet. Then, a FINCA Nicaragua credit officer visited her business. Nicolasa attended a meeting at a local FINCA branch and joined the Diseño (Design) Village Banking group.
Nicolasa invested her first loan of 2,000 Cordobas (US$96) in buying bulk quantities of corn for her tortillas. Eight years later, she has expanded her business steadily and always repaid her FINCA loans on time. Now, she has a FINCA loan of 17,500 Cordobas (US$840), enabling Nicolasa to buy corn at wholesale prices and greatly increase her profit margin.
As her five children have grown, Nicolasa has used the profits from her tortilla business to make improvements to her house and to support her aging parents, who live in a rural part of Nicaragua’s Boaco department. She is very proud that one of her daughters is already attending university, which should bring her opportunities Nicolasa never had. Remembering how hard life was when she started her business, Nicolasa is very grateful for the transformations FINCA has made possible for her family. “FINCA helps the neediest women in Nicaragua, no matter the size of their business.”