Consuelo Pazmiño owns two businesses – a delicatessen and a café in Ecuador. She opened the delicatessen, which offers local candy and baskets, 32 years ago.
The café is only two years old, but also shows promise. Her mother, Dona Aida Pazmiño, has run a booth for 50 years on the same street.
Consuelo used to pay businesses expenses with a credit card, and found herself consistently in debt. "I started to spend more than I had and then I couldn’t pay it back!”
Now, with a loan from Banco Solidario, she is learning to manage her finances more carefully. "All of the loans are invested in my business, so I have a good standing" Consuelo explains.
Through her efforts, she has bought a house, grown her café business, and purchased a van. The van serves as Consuelo’s mobile storefront, allowing her to set up shop anywhere she can park to take advantage of the hungry crowds.
Banco Solidario's mission is to provide financial services to those who have been unable to access the traditional financial system. Their market niche – microenterprise, small business, and family-run business – makes up nearly 70 percent of Ecuador's economically active population. In addition to small-business loans, Banco Solidario provides access to savings accounts, insurance, fund transfer services, and loans for housing improvements.
Praxis Mutual Funds® supports organizations such as Banco Solidario through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1 percent of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.