A loan of $900 helped to buy damask cloth, caustic soda, dyes, etc.

Bah Oumou's story

Ms. Bah Oumou is 48 years old, married, and the mother of eight children, including five boys and three girls. She resides with her husband and six of their children in Hamdallaye Extension, a working-class district in Sikasso City (3rd administrative region of the Republic of Mali). Not having had the chance to advance in school due to societal reasons, she soon became introduced to dyeing cloth and selling damask fabrics. She learned to dye cloth over twenty years ago from her older [sister]. She is in high demand, especially by her customers (essentially comprising travelers, bus drivers, truckers, etc.), for the quality of her products.

Concerned about further satisfying her burgeoning customer base, Bah Oumou decided to join the micro-finance institution Soro Yiriwaso about six years ago. She is now on her sixth individual loan. All the previous loans have been properly repaid.

This sixth loan will enable her to buy 3 lengths of white “Riche Hollandais” damask, 15 containers of dyes of various colors, 15 packets of caustic soda, etc. She gets her supplies in Bamako and also in Sikasso from major merchants. She puts the fabrics into the dye, and so she sells them, for cash on special order.

With this loan, she envisions making a monthly profit of 200,000 francs CFA that will be used essentially to increase her working capital, to help cover family expenses, and to pay the interest on the loan.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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