Each Namaste client receives Business Advice, Financial Education, and a Microloan. Together these assist her in increasing her business profit so she can move from poverty toward middle-class. This journey of up to four nine-month cycles has as its destination the realization of the dream she has for her business and her life. Currently, there are 400 women participating in the Namaste program.
Doña Ana Delia is one of these women. She is in her third cycle, 36 years old, married with five children at home and lives in Chimaltenango. Ana never went to school, yet she has been able to run a clothing business for 15 years and provide 40% of the household income. Ana buys her clothing in the city — she goes to super markets for new and to warehouses specializing in recycled goods from the states for used. She belongs to a small solidarity group called El Rastro with two other women. Her immediate goal is to have more products in inventory and her dream is to someday have a modern storefront instead of selling from her house.
When she entered the Namaste program at the beginning of the first cycle, her monthly net profit was $360. In her first cycle, under the guidance of her Business Advisor, Ana reorganized her store displays, took steps to avoid product losses and increased her stock of clothing. In the second cycle she increased her store hours and invested in new innovative products. Her profits increased to $630. This cycle she is investing her loan in an assortment of cosmetics and jewelry, which she thinks will be a good complement to the clothing she sells. She is projecting that by the end of this third nine-month cycle her monthly net profit will increase to $760 on sales of $1,200.
One of the reasons for this excellent outcome is her willingness to listen and learn together with her Business Advisor. She is a very responsible client and keeps the group together. She is serious about the solidarity concept and enjoys participating in the group financial literacy classes given by Namaste.