Business Overview

Yaira is a mother and micro-entrepreneur. that lives in the community of el Zapallal in Panama. She has been selling coconut oil for about six months to help her family during the current situation caused by Covid-19.

Yaira Valencia - Zapallal-Darién, Panamá

Economic Challenge

For the past five months, Panama has been under strict quarantine rules to avoid the increase of Covid-19 cases, which affected the economy and small businesses tremendously. But even during this adversity, some micro-entrepreneurs decided to change and create new income sources to survive during this time. Now that everything is going slowly back to normal, all the micro-enterprises are looking for tools to survive in these new circumstances. This is the case of Yaira.

The Business

Yaira is a mother and micro-entrepreneur. She has been living in Zapallal, located in Darien, and has been selling coconut oil for about six months. At first, she was under the impression that coconut could only be used as a hair treatment but after a couple of sales, she realized that it has many other uses and people outside her community seem very interested in acquiring the product.  

Competitive Advantage

She is one of the few community members that sell this kind of good in the area. People from other communities seek her to buy coconut oil. 


Yaira doesn’t know how to manage her business. She doesn’t have a brand or business structure and doesn’t know how to keep track of her sales and inventory properly. 

She doesn’t have access to sufficient bottles to pack her product, and she also needs a machine that could help accelerate the production process.

Next Steps

The tasks thatYaira Valencia has prioritized are:

1: Develop a business structure
2: Develop a brand
3: Learn how to do bookkeeping
4: Find areas of improvement.

Page Last Updated:December 18, 2020