Jaime Gutiérrez lives in Quisco, close to the sea. There are thousands of utensils and tools in his workshop, among them a sign, reading “Salmon leather”. This is the name of his business, where he spends his whole day working on the skin of this fish.
Jaime started his business in 1975, in the region of Melipilla, where he had his shoe factory. But the avalanche of Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian shoes that flooded the Chilean market several years ago hurt his trade so much that it forced him to close down and start again. He did so in the coastal region of El Quisco, where he moved with his wife, to a workshop in a house with a maritime feel about it.
That was when he found out about Fondo Esperanza. “I learned about it from a friend who crafts things in leather”, recounts Jaime, who joined the community bank “Creciendo juntos”. When he started out with the institution, his business was already up and running, “The reason for joining Fondo Esperanza was my business, to share experiences with new people. Fondo Esperanza helped me strengthen the weak points in my business, with the capital I needed, and to acquire more material”.
Jaime is particularly satisfied that he has been able to set up a successful business away from the capital and with a much better standard of living, and he says so: “Fondo Esperanza does a great job in supporting people. Entrepreneurs have to join forces; it can be a springboard in their lives”.