A loan of $450 helped to purchase firewood.

Fatoumata's story

Fatoumata is 41 years old, married, and a mother of six. She lives with her husband, her co-wife and their children in the Médina Coura district of the Koutiala prefecture (Sikasso region). Due to family problems in her childhood, she dropped out of school early. From a young age, she quickly adopted income-generating activities that she had learned from her mother. Three years ago, after running a few unsuccessful businesses, she started working exclusively in firewood sales. Firewood is a critical element for women in Mali when they cook food. Fatoumata can sell a full semi trailer load in a month.

She wasted no time in joining the Soro Yiriwaso MFI six years ago, with the goal of preventing out-of-stocks and meeting her customers’ needs. After five group loans with an association and four individual loans, which were all paid back normally, she is now on her fifth individual loan.

Fatoumata plans on using this loan to purchase a semi trailer load of firewood from farmers in the nearby village of Koutiala. She sells retail in front of her home in Médina Coura, for cash and sometimes on credit. Fatoumata expects to make a profit of 80,000 CFA francs per month, which she will use to pay back her loan and meet her family’s needs, with any remaining funds being invested in her business.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Chelsea Rosendale

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