Musu has been a soap producer and dealer for the past 10 years. She makes the soap in Kabala and takes it to surrounding villages to sell. Her husband helps her make and sell the soap. She is seeking a loan of Le 3,500,000.00 to invest in her business. She will buy bags of caustic soda, oil, plastic bags, hand gloves, and other working materials. It is particularly on the caustic soda that she will invest this money on. This is because the price for a bag of caustic soda keeps fluctuating. Now that the price is low, she intends to buy as much as 25 bags, which she will keep so that when the price increases, she will not be affected.
Her previous loans with SMT greatly improved her life. She is now able to feed, clothe and educate her children, and she has even been able to buy plots of land in Makeni and Kabala.
Currently, sales are difficult for Musu because of the rains. Farmers--her main customers--do not work at this time, so their clothes stay clean, which makes the demand for soap very low. But with the dry season approaching and this loan in place, she is expecting great sales and more profit. Her immediate goal is to start building a house on the land she bought in Kabala. She has already started buying timbers for that purpose.
About Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT)Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT) is Kiva’s oldest field partner in Sierra Leone. SMT began operations in 2002 as a microcredit program of the NGO Child Fund Sierra Leone under a USAID program to assist the reintegration of ex combatants back into their communities. Today, SMT offers group, agricultural, individual and salary loans to micro-entrepreneurs through six branches and one sub-branch in rural, urban, and peri-urban areas. By providing small loans and other financial services, SMT empowers poor clients to generate more income to help their families, improve their wellbeing, and create a more vibrant private small-business sector in Sierra Leone.
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