Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Microfinance: Rocio's Story

The San Diego Microenterprise Project (SDMP) aims to promote economic recovery, encourage experiential learning and support community development. Microfinance is the practice of extending small loans to individual borrowers who have been traditionally denied access to credit.

Rocio Merino’s Success Story:

Rocio came to the United States from El Salvador with her husband and family. They owned a butcher shop, a restaurant and a supermarket in the San Diego area, until her husband was deported back to El Salvador. Rocio suffered a devastating stroke.

For the last two years, Rocio has turned to handcrafts to help her recovery. Her microenterprise loan has helped get her business, “Rocio’s Hand Made Crafts,” going by providing money to invest in the materials necessary for her crafting. Getting resourceful, she uses recycled materials (soda tabs, CDs and bottle caps) to create and sell scarves, slippers and purses.

Her business allows Rocio to reinvest in her community and continue the cycle: “…I have the chance to teach positive things to people. I was helping a blind Cuban woman to make her own purses…this is very satisfying because it helped this woman to learn how to be independent and have her own income.”

Rocio has big business goals and we can help: “I would like to patent the designs of my purses and make them a famous brand and be able to sell big quantities through the internet.”

Get Involved in Rocio’s Story:

--Stop by the CASA office to drop off your soda tabs and bottle caps!

--Support SDMP!

--Attend a Microfinance meeting through the CASA office! Stop by for more information!

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