is one of the eight women who founded Guadas Cooperative in 2005. Guadas is situated about two hours nortwest
from Colombias capital Bógota. The coopeartive produces and sells
confectionary clothing. Currently there are 16 members, of which 14 are female.
Most members are responsible for the income of their families. The ladies are
true entrepreneurs and started small: they received support from Sena, a
governmental organization that stimulates education and training. Sena provided
them with three small sewing machines (for rent). They also received training
on how to properly use the sewing machines. This was the start of a successful
business; they started producing and selling the clothes and were very good at
it. What they did next was applying for a grand from a Canadian fund. With this
grant, they could buy professional, industrial sewing machines to better serve
new and existing clients.The cooperative
produces and sells clothes for the national and international market. To be able to do this, all members receive
technical and commercial training. Currently they have four production lines:
leisure clothing, school uniforms, workwear (they produce the clothing for
Helios, the company that maintains Colombias highways) and traditional
and her colleagues have great ambitions: With the loan they would like to open
their own points of sale, buy more fabrics
and increase production to satisfy customer demand. With the loan, 4 new jobs are being created.
Lendahand and its local partner grant this loan on the cooperative payable in 24 months, to be able to make this ambition reality.