A loan of $1,025 helped a member bolstering their respective businesses.

Femmes Commerçantes N°11 Group's story

The group “Femmes Commerçantes” (F.C.), as its name indicates, is a network of women who are active in commerce. It is based in Grand Thiès and was founded in 1992 by Ms. Maty Niakh, the network’s current president. She got the idea of forming the network after participating in a training session run by the NGO OXFAM in Thiès. She is therefore quite knowledgeable about group management, entrepreneurship, etc.

The network members are extremely devoted and meet once a month.  Beyond a membership fee, each member must pay 200 francs CFA monthly into a solidarity fund.

Desiring financing, they decided to join U-IMCEC. This is why their network was split into nineteen sub-groups of five persons each to ensure a better profit outcome. For the second time, they are requesting a loan of 100,000 francs per member, that is 500,000 francs per sub-group, to develop their various businesses.

However, payments are made at the monthly meetings to the group president, assisted by the group treasurer, Ms. Coumba S., who are then responsible for reimbursing U-IMCEC. In the words of its president, the network has only one single, noble objective: to fight family poverty. The network currently numbers nineteen sub-groups, each with its own president and treasurer.

And so, the sub-group Femmes Commerçantes N°11 is headed by Ms. Aïssatou D., a merchant at the Grand Thiès market.  She is 51 years old and has been selling vegetables, smoked fish, palm oil and peanut butter for thirteen years.  Her business had begun with fabric sales.  But, given that this business did not generate a lot of revenues at the time, she turned with regret to selling vegetables and in other districts at first.

Ms. Aïssatou D. is actually in this sub-group with Ms. Rokhaya D., the treasurer and a vendor of fresh fish;  Ms. Diakhère S., a vendor of palm oil and fish;  Ms. Dior T., who sells niébé (black-eyed peas) and dried fish; and Ms. Aisse Diallo, an itinerant vendor of fabrics and clothing.

In this group: Aïssatou, Rokhaya, Aisse, Diakher, Dior

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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