Made a kiva loan today to someone in the USA who is also a kiva lender. Wheel comes full circle! Wish I lived close enough to use their smog testing business.
A Kiva lender himself, Jesus recognizes the difference that microlending has made in the lives of others. Now, it is Jesus’ turn to reach out to the community in order to transform his passion for fixing cars into a viable business.
After emigrating from Mexico, Jesus (pictured left) attended Southwestern College’s automotive program with his close friend David (pictured right). After graduation, they elected to open D&V Smog Repair by pooling their funds together. Starting with very little money, they have spent the past three years at their Chula Vista location gradually increasing the amount of services they offer.
“Once we were out of school, we were idealists, but it turns out you really have to start small when starting a business,” Jesus explains.
The necessary equipment they need to keep their shop up-to-date and running is expensive. Jesus and David recently realized that they needed a new smog test machine to meet the state’s current test requirement. As avid advocates of microfinance themselves, they sought out local microfinance organizations and took out a $10,000 Kiva loan to fund their purchase.
Kiva gave them the opportunity to continue to grow their business, while they remain in full control of how their business is run.
“We love being independent and not working for someone else. There are always risks, but it is better this way,” says Jesus.
While they currently primarily perform smog testing, Jesus and David are ultimately interested in purchasing the necessary equipment required to repair brakes, lights and cooling systems. As their business continues to expand, they hope to one day purchase the building that the repair shop operates in.