A loan of $800 helped to buy pagnes, embroidered cloths and shoes.


Mariam's story

Mariam Diakité, born around 1968 in Bougouni in the region of Sikasso, is married and the mother of eight children. She lives in a monogamous family with her children and her husband in Sanoubougou I, one of the working-class neighborhoods of the city of Sikasso (third administrative region of the Republic of Mali).


Since social reasons prevented her from attending school, she became initiated at a very young age to the activity of a merchant of fanci-style pagnes (a colorful West African wax cloth), basins, embroidered cloths, shoes, etc. That was more than twenty years ago. Her customers particularly appreciate the high quality of her products.


Faced with the wish to better satisfy her ever increasing clientele, Mariam decided five years ago to join the microfinance institution Soro Yiriwaso. She got several solidarity loans with the association of women in her neighborhood (Benkadi Sanoubougou I Group). This is her sixth individual loan and all her previous loans have been repaid on schedule.


Mariam will use her new loan to buy 15 wax pagnes, 15 embroidered suits, 10 fanci pagnes and 20 pairs of shoes from wholesalers in Sikasso and in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso). She has a stall at the bus station in Sikasso where she sells her goods, cash and credit, to a clientele made up mostly of women and particularly to travelers and carriers.


Thanks to this loan Mariam expects to make a monthly profit of 100,000 CFA francs (US$227) which she will mostly use to buy new inventory, provide for her family, pay the interest of her loan and reinvest the remains in her business.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Robert Mouris



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