Mujeres Progresando Group – Retail (La Paz/El Alto, Bolivia)
The “MUJERES PROGRESANDO” (Advancing women) communal bank is made up of ten members and is led by a board of directors whose treasurer is Sonia. The businesses run by the communal bank’s members are varied and include: cosmetics sales, a local shop, various products, plants and plant pots, duvet sales, book sales and pork crackling sales. The loan will benefit small microentrepreneurs, one of whom is Sonia. She says that she joined Pro Mujer six months ago at the invitation of her aunt who is a member of the organisation. She currently runs a business selling potatoes and says that she learned the trade on her own initiative as it generated a good income. Sonia will use her loan for capital increase (the purchase of potatoes) which she will buy in bulk from the markets in Ciudad de El Alto and later sell on her stall. This type of work enables her to generate resources to maintain her home as far as possible, as she is married with two children. When asked what she likes about Pro Mujer, she replies that she likes the training on health-related issues.