Supporting entrepreneurs in Ecuador

Ximena Toro owns her optical store in the historical center of Quito. She has been working there for 18 years. She is the daughter of an optician and was 23 years old when she started her business with her husband. They had both received their optician’s license and decided to take out a loan to set up their first shop. A few years later, they opened a second shop in Quito, where Ximena still works today.

After her divorce, Ximena got a loan of USD 18,000 with COAC CACPECO. She used the loan to buy new medical material as her equipment became outdated. In addition to covering the family expenses, Ximena also pays for her oldest daughter’s education as she is studying to get her optician’s license and a degree in veterinary medicine. Ximena is proud to be financially autonomous and to provide for her daughters.

Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the clientele drastically decreased. Ximena had to close her business for four months following government restrictions. She was relieved as COAC CACPECO supported her in rescheduling her payment calendar. Even though the situation has recently improved, Ximena still sees her business operating at half capacity on most days. Thanks to her resilience and positive mindset, Ximena is hopeful and intends to travel to the United States to buy new frames and offer a wider range of options to her clients.

Ximena Toro's story is one of perseverance and entrepreneurial spirit, showcasing her journey from founding an optical business to overcoming personal and global challenges, all while fostering financial independence and a legacy of education and care within her family.