Opportunity In the Midst Of Despair

Bank Banco Ademi
Client Merán Catering
Location Dominican Republic

Jose Merán, a customer since 2013, is one example of thousands of inspiring stories from Banco Ademi customers who have received the financial and people support necessary to deliver successful business projects in the Dominican Republic. As a result, they have transformed their lives and that of their community. In 2014 Merán was nominated by Banco Ademi and won Citi Foundation’s Micro Company of the Year.

Jose Alejandro studied for a degree in marketing, and after a fruitless search for a start in his chosen profession he decided to take a new direction by doing a cookery course. His plan was to get a job on a cruise ship. ‘When they told me that I had to stay aboard for two years, without seeing my family, I knew it was not the work for me’, said Jose.

He decided to take a different direction and for nine years worked to build a small Chimi business selling special Dominican hamburgers, tacos, burritos and hot dogs. The business was growing but slowly. One day near the sidewalk where Jose was set-up, two people were killed in a robbery. ‘I feared for my life, so I decided to move to a nearby location’, he explained.

With the help of a loan from a friend, Jose first rented a small space and then bought it, opening a restaurant. He also acquired a Chimi truck. Jose realised the business was growing but needed capital. He struggled because he had no loans and therefore no credit history. ‘Banco Ademi understood my business and provided a loan of 50,000. Then I took 200,000 pesos, and grew,’ he recalls.

José Alejandro now has 32 employees; a valued team. Aware of the importance of education, he employs three graduates, and he actively encourages his employees to further their education by offering training opportunities. The micro enterprise has implemented important standardised procedures (SOP), as well as processes for cleaning, pest control, special products and the treatment of wastewater. The business is 9001 certified, and has a great sense of social responsibility; donating food to 300 poor children weekly in the Hogar San Francisco de Asis region.

‘When asked about Banco Ademi, Jose exclaims: ‘As their slogan says, they have given me the hands and feet for my progressive micro enterprise, Merán Catering. Thanks a lot!’