Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Julio and William, second-time Kiva Zip borrowers from Los Angeles.  Within a few minutes, I could see how warm, dedicated and hardworking they are.  They are committed to their families, their business and their Kiva Zip lenders.  I'm excited (and honored) to share their story with you.  
 

Julio & William
 
Julio first moved to the United States from El Salvador to escape civil war and build something better for his family.  His son, William, trained for 3 years in the plumbing trade before feeling the same calling to build something for his family.  With just a couple of tools, they began their own father and son plumbing and handy services business.  In 8 years, they’ve grown the business so much that they need an influx of capital to continue growing. 
 
William first met their trustee, Barrio Planners, through a city-wide marketing campaign to raise awareness of LA BusinessSource Centers.  Since then, he has taken countless business training classes with Barrio Planners.  The organization was impressed by William's dedication - He was always pushing himself to learn more and expand his knowledge base.  William would contact them about upcoming trainings before they even got the chance to get the word out!  They attest that this ambition and work ethic is the reason why Julio and William’s business has grown so quickly.
 
Last October 2012, Julio and William fundraised their first Kiva Zip loan.  They used this loan to purchase tools, obtain a contracting license, and purchase advertising space.  Both Julio and William do not have a computer so they further displayed their commitment and endurance by frequently visiting Barrio Planners to use their computers to respond to lenders and repay their loan!
 
When asked about his first loan, William excitedly said, “It’s beautiful.  Barrio Planners are great people.  Kiva Zip is an excellent program.”  Julio and William even got to meet a couple of their past lenders who hired them to work on some plumbing issues in their own homes!  Julio and William are so grateful that they wanted to personally thank all of their lenders.  
 
 
Julio and William are currently fundraising for their second Kiva Zip loan.  They are asking for $10,000 to purchase a new van to be able to operate larger equipment and further expand their business.  Support this father & son business today!

Comments

That video gave me a big smile! Julio looked so uncomfortable with being on camera, yet he said his piece very well. I hope their plumbing business will continue to grow quickly!

What a great story! A big shout out to Julio and William for their hard work and dedication and to all their Kiva lenders who helped make their dreams come true. This shows that given a little help and guidance motivated people will succeed.

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What matters most to Lucy is largely shaped by a world that existed before her. In one lifetime, her family became self-made business owners, lost it all during the Cambodian Khmer Rouge reign, and survived abusive labor camps, poor living conditions, and near death starvation. She is the youngest of seven and the only one fortunate enough to be born in America (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) where her daily stresses were not about survival. She considers herself very lucky and therefore have learned from her family’s past to see the intrinsic value in opportunities and community. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she moved to New York to work for Google in sales. A few years later, her career at Google brought her to China where she quickly developed an interest in developing countries and how innovative business models such as microfinancing and microwork sourcing can make an impact in the economy and the lives of the people there. She wants to join Kiva in pushing the limits of technology to make a difference in the world. By focusing on the human side of business, she believes she can give back to the world that has given so much to her and her family. She believes she can help promote global awareness, education, and self-sustainability to future world citizens and prevent things like the Khmer Rouge from ever happening again.
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