A loan of $1,025 helped a member strengthen their business.

Femmes Commerçantes N°5 Group's story

As its name suggests, Femmes Commerçantes is a network of businesswomen, It is based at Grand Thiès and was created in 1992 by Ms. Maty Niakh, its current president. She got the idea of forming the network after participating in a training session run by Oxfam at Thiès, in which she became familiar with group organization and running a business. The members of the group are dedicated to what they do, and meet together once a month. Over and above membership dues, each of them pays 200 FCFA a month into a group operating fund.

Looking for financing, they decided to join U-IMCEC. The network is divided into 19 subgroups of five people so that financing can be better handled. Each subgroup has its own president and treasurer.

They now seek, for the second time, a loan of 100,000 FCFA per member or 500,000 FCFA for each subgroup, to grow their various activities. The members repay their loans to the president and the treasurer, Ms. Coumba Seck. They, in turn, are responsible for repaying U-IMCEC. According to the president, the group’s praiseworthy objective is to fight family poverty.

The 5th sub-group (Femmes Commerçantes N° 5) consists of:
• Ms. Yacine S., the president of this sub-group, born in 1962. For the past 17 years she has sold dried fish, palm oil and clothing fabrics in the market. She is married and mother of one child aged 26. As she says, she is active because she needs to combat idleness and handle both her needs and those of her family. This loan will allow her to balance her supplies budget;
• Ms. Mbery D. who retails various products (among which peanuts) to her customers in the market. She has been doing this for five years;
• Ms. Ngousane N. who for the past four years has sold fruit in front of the regional hospital of Thies;
• Ms. Amy T., who has retailed niébé (a local bean), millet and peanuts from her home over the past four years; and
• Ms. Amy D. who rents chairs and tarpaulins for ceremonies. With her share of the loan, she intends to increase her stock by buying more chairs.

In this group: Yacine, Mbéry, Ngoussane, Amy, Amy

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer René McConnell

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