Silvia Isabel

Silvia Isabel has a small restaurant in her home in Jocotenango, Sacatepéquez, where she makes delicious lunches and snacks for her loyal clients. She is very entrepreneurial and does catering for special events. She also makes handicrafts, chair covers, and curtains. Her dream is to expand the handicraft part of her business.

She is 60 years old. She is married and has grown children who no longer live with her. She puts a premium on education, having completed high school herself, and helping her children with college. Her daughter is studying science and letters, and her son has a degree in business administration.

Silva had been in the clothing business for many years: two years ago her son gave her a restaurant he had started. She was happy to take it on as she loves to cook and enjoys serving her food. Her customers love her chicken and ham sandwiches and her meat stew. Other popular items include bread, bananas, and strawberries — all three coated with chocolate — as well as fruit smoothies

Her Business Advisor emphasized the need to keep her place clean and tidy, which she now does outstandingly. He also recommended calculating the exact cost of each dish she makes so that she could price to make a profit. Also, she has, at his suggestion, added new items to meet client tastes. She began keeping financial records and has implemented nearly all of the advice given her. All and all, these initiatives have helped her improve business results as when she started with Namaste she was breaking even and now she is making $485 a month, which exceeds the amount her husband brings home. In addition, she repaid her loan of $410 in full.

Now that her restaurant is doing so well, she wants to expand the handicraft side of her business during her second cycle in the Namaste Business Development Program. She has received a new loan of $685 to give her a boost.