Mariama A. is a 50 year old woman. She is married and has six children. Three are in school and the rest are traders in the market. She lives with her husband in her matrimonial home at Koforidua, a suburb of Offinso in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Mariama is an achiever and a resourceful woman to her family. She loves selling goods, the business through which she makes a living.
Mariama has traded in bananas, oranges and plantain sales in the Koforidua market for more than eight years now. She treks to surrounding villages in the central part of Ghana to purchase bulk stocks of bananas, oranges and plantains from the farmers and then sells them retail to her customers. For lack of adequate working capital, she is not able to pick enough stock to make enough profit to support her family. She buys unripe bananas in bulk and she covers them with plantain leaves in the bush. They will be there for awhile so when they are ripe she can go for them and sell them to her customers. With a loan of $375 she wants to purchase bulk supplies of bananas, oranges and plantains to enable her to increase her sales. She wants to use part of the profit to support her children's education. Mariama belongs to a village bank called ‘Nhyira Mma’ which means "Blessed Children".