A loan of $1,050 helped a member to buy firewood, soap, cloth and vegetable oil.

Belles-Dames Group's story

The four women of the Belles-Dames group (all married) have an average age of 35 and two children, and live in traditional large, extended families in the Hamdallaye district of Sikasso (the third administrative region of the Republic of Mali). Brought together through neighborhood, professional and family connections, they sell mainly firewood, soap, cloth and vegetable oil.
In order to meet the continually growing demand of their customers, the group decided to join the Soro Yriwaso microfinance institution, with whom they are now on their 6th solidarity (group) loan. All previous loans were repaid successfully.
The members of the group plan to use this loan to purchase 8 loads of firewood, 10 boxes of soap, 45 meters of cloth and 5 drums of vegetable oil. They buy their supplies of cloth, vegetable oil and soap only in Sikasso, from local wholesalers at the main market. With respect to firewood, they buy this from the peasants (holding a cutting permit) who supply the town. Typically they run their business from home or by walking around, and sell mainly to women.
They each hope to make from this loan an average profit of CFA 20,000 per month, which will be used to pay the loan interest and provide for their families’ needs. The remainder will be invested in the business.

In this group: Kadiatou, Alima Ballo, Awa Diallo, Maïmouna Konate

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Sarah Llewellyn

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