Total loan: $3,750

Loboko Group

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Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Congo (DRC) / Food

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A loan helped To purchase some bags of salted and smoked fish and mushrooms.

Loboko Group's story

Monique sells beverages, salted and smoked fish, and mushrooms. She has been in business off and on since 1981. She started by selling rolled cotton. Her beginning capital was US$ 7. Her first business prospered but lasted only for six months due to the lack of goods on the market. Monique had to change businesses. She started selling rice and soaps at the market, but was severely impacted when the Congolese Franc lost its value in 1981. She lost all of her capital and went to take care of her family until 2003. Monique launched another business in 2003. She started selling beverages, cakes and waffles until 2007 when she joined one of Hope’s groups called “Loboko” meaning “Hand” in English. Through her sales, Monique makes about US$ 70 per week. Monique plans to use her loan from Hope to diversify her business and sell salted and smoked fish and mushrooms. In order to increase her income, Monique has various points of sale within her community. She dreams one day of putting up a large business building that she can rent out for additional income. Monique is 64 years old, married, and a mother of twelve children between the ages of 22 and 46; two of her children are sick and stay with her. The rest of her children are independent. In spite of her age, Monique likes selling because it gives her the opportunity to make contact with many different people, and once they become permanent customers, she is able to offer them quality products at a better price and they keep coming back.