Chakipi Colombia – Elcida Geney Duran, Entrepreneur
Elcida Duran with Arturo Vargas, Chakipi Colombia pilot manager
For Elcida Duran, a fifty-five-year-old woman from the community of Torices in Cartagena, Chakipi was the means for her to a new livelihood. She used to own a small business selling clothes; however, when she was diagnosed with cancer over a year ago, she had to sell her sewing machine in order to cover the costs of her medical treatments. She joined Chakipi just as she was about to begin her treatments and now earns more than $100 per month.
“Chakipi has helped me feel capable again and to move forward with a small business. I’m not able to leave my house much these days, only to attend Chakipi meetings and for medical appointments. [Chakipi] products are delivered to my house and my customers (mostly neighbors) come here to make their payments.”
Elcida reflects on what it means to be part of Chakipi: meeting with Chakipi staff and partners helps her relax. She loves sharing ideas with fellow Chakipi entrepreneurs and believes that the women are moving forward together with opportunities and strategies. She has found all the training sessions useful and, in particular, when a supplier taught them about their products and gave them the tools for better promoting and selling them to customers.
“Chakipi has taught me that I can succeed in spite of all the fears that may arise when there is something new in front of me. When I was about to join the program, I asked myself a lot of questions like whether I would be able to relate to others, to sell, to get ahead, but over time with Chakipi, I have realized that someone should be positive and confident in themselves. I hope that all women in the country would be able to participate in Chakipi.”
Elcida’s dreams for her and her family are to have life, health, happiness, and a peaceful home.