A loan of $1,075 helped to buy raw materials for making local soaps.

Mamdy's story

Mr. Mamdy O., age 29, lives with his child and wife in a nuclear family in the Pelengana Sud district of the city of Ségou (fourth region of Mali). Having dropped out of school in grade 11 (corresponding to la seconde in the French educational system), he decided to learn how to make local soap, so as to enter the working world. He learned this work from a cousin, who had a great reputation in that domain. This apprenticeship lasted two years and was the springboard for him to make really any kind of soap. Improving on his own for five years, he enjoys public recognition beyond the city of Ségou. He has available to him five well-tested apprentices at work.

To make koulikoro soap, he needs a palm oil drum, 40 kg of caustic soda, a liter of perfume, plus silikalé for hardening the soap paste. All of this is then heated in a drum for an hour and a half, thus producing soap ready for sale.

Concerned about addressing the growing customer demand, he turned toward Soro Yiriwaso and is now on his first individual loan. He intends to use it to buy two palm oil drums and ten sacks of caustic soda. Supplies of ingredients are gotten locally in Ségou.

Mr. O. sells at the retail level, cash or credit accepted from customers composed of men and women. He plans to realize a monthly profit of 100,000 francs CFA that will be used as working capital and to cover family expenses. His ambition is to open a factory for making soaps.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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