A loan of $1,000 helped buy pagnes wax (colorful West-African fabric), embroidered fabrics and shoes.

Fatoumata's story

Mrs. Fatoumata is 41 years old, married and has five children. She lives with her husband and their children in a large traditional extended family in Bougoula City, in the center of Sikasso (third administrative region of the Republic of Mali).

After conducting many unsuccessful activities, Mrs. Fatoumata was introduced over 10 years ago to the business of buying and selling clothes, pagnes wax (colorful West-African fabric), shoes and embroidered fabrics, purchased in Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso).

She works from her home and as an ambulant vendor in the city of Sikasso, where she is in high demand by her customers for the quality of her products.

To satisfy an increasing number of customers, she decided to join the Soro Yiriwaso micro-finance institution five years ago, and since then has been granted several solidarity loans as part of a women's association from her neighborhood. She is currently on her eleventh individual loan, and all previous loans have been repaid in full.

She intends to use this loan to buy 15 lengths of pagne wax, 10 full sets of embroidered fabric, and 30 different pairs of shoes. Her goods are sold on the street at retail prices, for cash or on credit, to mostly women customers.

She hopes to achieve monthly profits of 110,000 FCFA which she will use to contribute towards family expenses, pay interest on the loan and invest the remainder in her business activity.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer René McConnell

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