A loan of $1,100 helped a member to buy more stock of items like rice, spices, etc. for her grocery shop and expand her retail shop into a wholesale business.


Maa Bhagabati Group's story

This group’s name is Maa Bhagabati (name of a local deity) formed in the year 2009. Its five members are all women from the Rayagada district in Odisha, India. Rayagada is a tribal district of Odisha where 85% of the population is rural and 65% of them belong to the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. People from the BPL category live on less than one dollar a day. Among the members, Kuni is the most active person. The lady raising her hand in the photo is Kuni. She is 45 years old. She has been running a grocery store with the help of her husband for the last 10 years. She sells daily household items like rice, sugar, oil, soap, spices, biscuits etc. in her village. She initially started a leaf plate business in her house and grew to owning a grocery shop. Her husband helps her in running the grocery shop. She is always looking for growth and now wants to grow her retail shop into a wholesale shop. A portion of the loan will be utilized by her to buy a huge stock of items such as rice, sugar, spices, etc., of whatever she is selling, to make it into a wholesale shop. She also wants to simultaneously increase the volume of her leaf plate business. She says there is a lot of demand for these plates during the monsoon season and wants to buy more stock of raw materials to store enough finished plates for the high demand season. Some of her loan will be utilized by her to buy more stock of raw materials like leaves and bamboo twigs. The beauty in this group is that she buys finished leaf plates from the other members of the group who also make leaf plates. These plates are biodegradable, disposable, hygienic, and an inexpensive alternative to modern paper or plastic utensils. These are widely used by local food stalls and hotels to serve food.

In this group: Bijayalaxmi, Kuni, Jhunubala, Rina, Kama
*not pictured



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