Sonañdo Juntos Ferretería y Tienda
The store is expanding! After two years in operation, the residents of Chacraseca are celebrating the Ferretería as one of the best things that has happened in their community.
"I can ride my horse to get what I need!"
"It's wonderful, now I don't have to go the León to buy nails!"
"I think I can repair my house now!"
The Ferretería (hardware store) opened in January 2011, and sales have been steady during the dry season when groups come to help build homes. Juana, a young woman from the community who is one of the few college graduates, is the administrator, an unemployed farmer has been hired as the night guard, and another young woman from Chacraseca is the part-time accountant. Three jobs in a community with 95% unemployment is significant.
The project was dreamed into being by the group of 30 women who founded JustHope's Mujeres Unidas Microcredit Project who, in partnership with several women's groups, funded, built, painted, and ran the store until profits allowed Juana to be hired. The initial inventory was purchased with a $6500 microenterprise social-business loan to Mujeres Unidas (all 30 women signed the contract) from JustHope. (Terms: 1% per year; 10-year payout). A social business loan means all that 100% of the funds from both the repayment of the loan and any profits the store makes go directly into the microcredit project to make more loans possible for more women!
So… hoping toward stronger sales and greater self-sustainability, the Ferretería added "Tienda" to its name in January 2013, and expanded the line of products it carries. It now sells basic grains like beans, rice, corn, and sugar; and special food and supplies for the many women who are raising pigs.
Selling these new products will not only increase the viability of the Ferretería/Tienda, and add new dollars to the microcredit bank — it will save the people of Chacraseca the cost and time of going to León for the items they need.