A loan of $975 helped a member to buy cotton cloth and ingredients for incense.

Balimaya (La Parenté) Group's story

The five women of the group Balimaya are all married and average 42 years of age and 5 children each. They live in large traditional extended families in the Médina Koura district of the city of Koutiala
(Sikasso region, Republic of Mali). They know one another by neighborhood ties, and they do the same work, primarily making bogolan (very pretty mud-cloth that they learned to make from their parents). Secondarily, they make incense.

To satisfy their rich and varied customer base, which increases from day to day, the group members decided to join the micro-finance institution Soro Yiriwaso, with which they are on their seventh solidarity loan (group loan). All the preceding loans have been correctly repaid.

The women plan to use this loan to buy sizable quantities of cotton cloth and some ingredients for incense. Supplies of cloth are gotten from weavers of Koutiala, and the ingredients for incense are purchased from shops selling cosmetics (perfumes and other items). The lengths of cotton cloths are made into the bogolan and then sold retail, as are the incense, in cash transactions at the marketplace and at fairs.

The women each hope to realize an average profit of 115,000 francs CFA in the course of this cycle. The profits will be used to pay the loan interest, to provide for the extended family, and to invest the rest in their work. Their ambition is to expand their businesses and to participate in international fairs.

In this group: Kadiata, Mariam, Bodo , Mariam , Fatoumata

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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