A loan of $700 helped purchase of handbags.

Bintou's story

A native of the Koulikoro region of Koutiala prefecture (Mali’s third administrative district), Bintou is 31 years old, and lives with her husband and three children in a monogamous household. She quit school early to devote herself to income-generating activities, notably the buying and selling of formalwear (handbags, children’s clothing, bras, et cetera). Bintou learnt her trade from her mother, who for decades has dealt wholesale in fabric and other items. With 15 years of experience, Bintou is highly sought after and appreciated in the town of Koutiala, especially with the approaching holiday season and return to classes, a time when she receives many orders.

Three years ago, Bintou decided to turn to the Soro Yiriwaso microfinance institution. After four group loans and one individual loan, all properly repaid, she is requesting her second individual loan. With this loan Bintou plans to buy five lots of handbags from wholesale merchants in Bobo Dioilasso, Burkina Faso and Lomé, Togo. Bintou sells her merchandise on credit or for cash to both men and women in the city of Koutiala and at the weekly trade fairs in nearby towns. Over the course of the loan cycle, she hopes to make a profit of $175 (80,000 XOF African francs), which she will use to grow her business and repay the interest on her loan.

Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Joyce .

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