“When I was a child I watched my grandmother Consolación run her own business of selling antiques at the door of her home. I always looked up to her, wanted to help her, and I dreamed of one day owning my own store”. – Elsa Melisa Kuffo Santiago, Peru

When Elsa married she went to live in her mother-in-law’s house, there she learned to prepare jellies, sweets, and desserts. Her mother-in-law ran her own dulceria with the support of Mentors Peru. Elsa wanted to help financially support her husband and two children. Following in the example of her grandmother, and her mother-in-law Elsa decided to open her own dulceria, but she lacked the capital and knowledge to run her own business.

With the encouragement of her mother-in-law Elsa reached out to Mentors Peru. She was so excited to start attending the business classes. After training, she applied and was granted her first loan of 500 soles. (about $147 dollars) She invested this capital into buying pots, buckets, and cooking utensils. Elsa opened “Dulceria Melisa”. After she paid back her first loan, with the guidance of her mentors she took out a second loan to continue to grow her business. She invested her second loan in purchasing a little table, benches, cooking ingredients, and more pots.

“My next big dream and goal is to have a refrigerator where I can sell cold soda. I am saving my income to be able to purchase this. I would also like to start selling a new variety of candies that no other dulceria in my city offers. I feel very grateful to Mentors Peru for the opportunity it offered my business with training and financial advice. My husband and two children are very proud of me and my dulceria. I am blessed to be able to help financially support my family and provide more for my children.” Says Elsa with pride.

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