Instead of finding jobs, Allan created them in Oakland, CA

Allan was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy when he was born and his journey was a long one from the start, full of disbelievers and personal struggles. No one even thought he would pass the eighth grade.

Since graduating from college, Allan struggled to find a job, so he started driving for a ride-sharing service. "After months of applying for jobs and while driving my car, I was able to save some money,” said Allan. “Then I realized instead of waiting for someone to hire me, I can create a business and create jobs for others."

Allan had a dream to open a café to support his family. He started working toward this dream in 2016. "My future goal is to make the café a community hub. A place where local organizations can have their meetings and for young students to find a quiet place to study,” said Allan.

“I hope that the café can also be a bridge between Honduras and the Fruitvale District since we serve Single Origin Honduran Coffee and Honduran cuisine." 

With the money Allan saved, he opened the café in November 2017. However, after the opening, a construction project in front of the café limited customer parking and hurt his business. That's when he realized that he needed a loan to compensate for the losses and hire more employees. 

Allan applied for a Kiva loan to expand the business by hiring workers from the local community and training them as baristas and cooks.

"With the Kiva loan, we will be able to provide jobs to the local community who are being affected by economic hardship,” said Allan. “Café el Patio will hire those that are in need and reinvest into the community."

Allan learned that Kiva loans don’t just benefit the borrower, as they also help the employees of the business and members of the surrounding community. 

"I am most proud of the fact that Café el Patio is a family business. Each family member plays an important role in the café,” says Allan “With their help, I was able to hire an old classmate to help us with the café's journey.” 

Check Allan’s shop here. Lend to people like Allan and support community businesses like Café el Patio at!

About the author

Hassan Hijazi

Hassan is an Atlas Corps fellow from Jordan serving at Kiva as Impact and Storytelling fellow. He earned his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Media at University of Petra in Jordan. He worked for different non-profit organizations in Jordan for more than 7 years, 5 of which being in emergency response. His experience is in media, communications and advocacy.