A loan of $450 helped to buy miscellaneous grocery items.

Assetou's story

Born in Sikasso and now 33 years old, Assetou is married and a mother of four, three boys and a girl. She lives with her husband and their children in the Attbougou public housing of Sikasso, in one of the popular district of Sikasso (located in Mali's third administrative region).
Since Mrs. Assetou did not have the opportunity to advance in her studies, she very rapidly familiarized herself with the trade of various items and has had for about twelve years a shop in the front of her house. There she buys and sells cigarettes, candy, matches, chewing-gum, powdered milk, tea, sugar, etc. She is very much in demand thanks to the quality of her products.
To meet demand from a growing number of customers, she decided to join micro-finance organization Soro Yiriwaso a few months ago. She thus is on her first loan, which will allow her to increase her working capital in order to better satisfy her customers.
With this first loan, she is planning on buying two cartons of cigarettes from different brands, five cartons of chewing-gum, two cartons of powdered milk (in pouches), five large packs of tea, one bag of sugar, ten cartons of candy, twenty packs of matches and a few egg cartons. She purchases her merchandise form local wholesalers before retailing it for cash or credit to a clientele composed of neighbors, and mostly of young people.
With this first loan, she is planning on a monthly profit of 100,000 FCFA, which will mainly be used to contribute to the expenses of the family and to pay her loan's interests, with the remainder to be reinvested in the business.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Charlotte Buecheler

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