A loan of $1,100 helped buy caustic soda.

Bintou's story

Mrs. Bintou Traoré is 49-years-old, married and mother of five children. She lives with her husband in a large traditional family in the second area of Ségou (4th administrative region of the Republic of Mali).

She stopped going to school in the third primary grade (Mali education system) to begin several revenue-generating activities such as hairdressing, dying clothes, etc. She finally opted for traditional soap-making. She learned this trade from one of her acquaintances. After weeks of apprenticeship, she finally mastered the production technique and started her own business. She has been pursuing this activity for the past four years and has acquired a high reputation due to the quality of her traditional soaps.

To make traditional soap she heats 50 litres of Shea oil in a large pot or in a barrel. She then adds five 20-litre containers of water, five kilos of flour and four kilos of caustic soda. She then stirs with a large ladle until she obtains a paste-like consistency from which she will make the soap.

To increase the size of her business and to generate more revenue, she approached Soro Yiriwaso four years ago. Folllowing four group and two individual loans, all of which were fully reimbursed, she is now requesting a third individual loan. She will use this loan to purchase 30 barrels of caustic soda. She gets her supplies locally. Mrs. Binton Traoré sells cash and on credit to a customer base of women.

With this loan, she hopes to reach a monthly revenue of 100,000 FCFA. This will enable her to assist her husband and participate in the funding of social events (baptisms, weddings, etc.).

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer René McConnell

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