A loan of $1,025 helped a member to buy fish and cloth.

Benkafo(Entente) Group's story

The women of the group Benkafo are all married and average 47 years of age and four children. They live in traditional extended families in the village of Koumantou (in Bougouni prefecture, third administrative region of the Republic of Mali). This group essentially does a variety and diversity of work: catering, clothing, ...

The group members have been partners of Soro Yiriwaso for three years and are on their sixth loan. According to the president, this partnership is very important because it enables them to have continuous capital for working in income-generating businesses. The current loan is enough to buy 10 kg of fresh fish each day at 650 francs CFA per kilo, 5 liters of cooking oil, and some firewood. The fish will be fried and offered for sale. This commerce allows them to earn 200 francs per kilo of fish sold. The group members make their sales from a fixed location at the marketplace and door-to-door in the different districts of Koumantou, cash or credit accepted, to customers composed generally of women.

The members who sell cloth will buy 10 lengths of Wax brand cloth in Bamako (capital of Mali). This cloth is cut up into three "pagnes" (each typically about 1 meter by 3 meters in size) which are then sold. Damask fabric is sold by the meter. The merchants earn 250 francs from each pagne sold and 500 francs from each meter of damask sold.

The group members can realize an average of 30,000 to 45,000 francs per month. This is enough to repay the loan and to address certain family expenses. In the future, the group members want to have their own shops in order to become wholesalers of the fresh fish and cloth that customers demand.

In this group: Bana , Awa , Mama , Djoba , Naminata

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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