Caleb and Johanna Mercardo, owners of Salon Caleb, are a dynamic duo with big dreams for their business. On a typical Saturday, they provide haircuts, manicures and pedicures to over 40 customers.

Caleb and Johanna are active participants in our Business Academy. We have coached them closely to help them achieve their dreams. The renovation of their first salon in the town of Diria was financed by the BlessBack microloan program.

The Diria Salon Caleb Before & After Renovations

2018 was a very tough year for most small businesses in Nicaragua. Widespread civil unrest, protests and rioting in the area kept people at home and businesses without clients for weeks. Many salons similar to Caleb’s did not survive the crisis. However, not only did Caleb and Johanna keep their Diria salon running, they were able to fill the void and open a new salon in the next town over, Diriomo. Again, through our microloan process, we provided funding for the second salon.

Left: Johanna at the Diromo Salon Caleb, Right: Caleb at the Diria Salon

The fulfillment of Caleb and Johanna’s ambitious dreams is another example of how the Business Academy Fund is helping businesses in Nicaragua implement their strategies. The Business Academy Fund is fully funded by donors like you, who are helping us fill the financing gap in Nicaragua. Your initial donation will help an endless number of businesses as the funds are re-invested from one business to another.

***Fun Fact: Caleb carved the signs for both salons from pieces of Styrofoam board and painted them gray. Based on Business Academy teachings, he has clearly developed a brand by giving both salons a similar appearance. The innovation of the Nicaraguan small business owners never fails to astonish.