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For four years, M’Balu K. put aside a small portion of her household food allowance as savings. Her hope was to start her own business selling food products in the local market. Last year M’Balu achieved that goal and began her new enterprise in a central, open-air market in Makeni. She sells food products—her bestsellers being macaroni, a local spice (Maggi), and tomatoes. Among many other small stalls selling dried fish in plastic containers, M’Balu’s shop stands out. Her products are arranged in neat, tidy rows resembling a pyramid. In her first year in business, M’Balu has been very happy with her turnover but is always thinking of how she can move her inventory “fast, fast” and increase her sales volume. Smiling, M’Balu spoke several times about her desire to expand her business. She hopes to one day own a proper shop of her own and is sticking to her tried and true past strategy of accumulating daily savings until she is ready to purchase a store.

M’Balu is a 38-year-old, married mother of five children. In addition to her children, aged four to seventeen, M’Balu and her husband, who is a welder, support two of her younger brothers.

This is M’Balu’s first loan.

Additional Information

About the Association or Rural Development

The Association for Rural Development (ARD) is one of the leading microfinance institutions in Sierra Leone. Established in 1989, ARD has offered individual and group loans to support small-scale businesses across the country for two decades. You can learn more about ARD on its partner profile page, support the organization and its staff by joining the ARD lending team, or lend to another one of its borrowers currently raising funds on Kiva.

About Sierra Leone

  • $2,100
    Average annual income
  • 16
    View loans »
    Sierra Leone Loans Fundraising
  • $9,574,925
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 3,860.0
    Sierra Leone Leones (SLL) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $800 helped M'balu to buy additional food items for her market stand.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
10 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Oct 9, 2009
Oct 16, 2009
Currency Exchange Loss:
Jul 15, 2010