This is the story of Ana Mamani Quispe, the story of one woman who inspired a whole community to rally around to overcome the sudden challenges. The story of many families who managed with the support of microfinance institution, to maintain their income in difficult circumstances.
Ana Mamani Quispe, 38 years old, is a client of the Bolivian microfinance institution Crecer since 2007. She lives together with her husband and son in Bravo, a village just under km from the city of El Alto. The village is located in the Interandino valley, an area that lends itself well to the cultivation of grains and fruit. Ana also earns her income from growing maize, among other crops.
When the pandemic broke out, Ana was in danger of getting into trouble. She could no longer reach her customers and she started suddenly to doubt whether she would find a market for her products. She brought herself in contact with as many people as possible via WhatsApp: friends, relatives, landlords, transporters, other farmers and middlemen. She succeeded to convince many to unite. The farmers would buy their seeds together (with the support of a credit from Crecer), and they would help each other with the shipping and selling the products. In this way she and many other farmers assured themselves of sufficient buyers. Sales mainly happened through online channels. Ana’s creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, together with the help of Crecer’s credit, helped many families to maintain their income in difficult circumstances.