A loan of $800 helped to buy various items such as pagnes (colorful West-African fabrics), shoes, fabrics and brooms.

Mariam's story

Mariam was born in November 1977 in Kiffosso, in the district of Yorosso, cercle of Koutiala. She is the mother of two children. Her husband left for England, so she is living at her father's home with her two children, in Kamalen Sirakoro, one of the suburbs of the city of Sikasso (third administrative region of Mali).

For the past ten years Mariam has been selling wax "pagnes" (colorful West-African fabrics), bedsheets, shoes, embroidered fabrics, brooms etc. She works from home and also sells door to door in Sikasso, where she is a very popular seller, thanks to the quality of her merchandise.

In order to meet the needs of an increasing number of customers, she decided to join the microfinance institution Soro Yiriwaso five years ago. After taking several solidarity loans through a local women's association, she is now taking her fourth individual loan. She is planning to use this loan to buy 15 wax pagnes, 25 pairs of shoes of various quality, ten pieces of embroidered fabric (each measuring 1 x 3 m) and some boxes of brooms. She buys her merchandise locally and in Bobo Dioulasso (republic of Burkina Faso) and resells door to door, for cash or on credit, to a retail customer base which mostly consists of women. Her previous loans have been duly repaid.

Thanks to this loan, Mariam is expecting monthly profits to reach 110,000 CFA francs, which will be used in part to contribute to the family's expenses, to pay off her loan's interest, while the rest will be reinvested in her business.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Sophie Narayan

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