A loan of $400 helped to buy various goods.

Assitan's story

Ms. Assitan Traoré, age 45, lives with her eight children and husband in a monogamous family in Mamassoni, an outlying district of the city of Sikasso (third administrative region of the Republic of Mali). Having lacked the chance to go to school due to societal reasons, she tried many kinds of work to earn an income. Seven years ago, she opted for commerce in various goods, buying and selling Wax pagnes (colorful West Africa cloth), kitchen utensils ("Super" basins, nickel basins, frying pans, etc.) She is in high demand by her customers (composed essentially of women) for the quality of her goods. Given that her shop is located on the roadside of one of the busiest arteries in town, and it has easy access, her business is booming. And her customers are very satisfied.

Wanting to do better in satisfying this ever-growing customer base, she decided to join the micro-finance institution Soro Yiriwaso over six years ago. After six solidarity loans (group loans) in a women's association in her area, she is now on her eighth individual loan. All the preceding loans have been correctly repaid.

She intends to use this loan to buy five bolts of Wax pagnes, three sets of "Super" basins, four wristwatches, a dozen frying pans, five handbags, and ten dolls. The merchandise is gotten in Dakar (Republic of Senegal) and is resold in her shop in Sikasso.

She envisions realizing a monthly profit of 150,000 francs CFA that will be used essentially to augment her working capital, to help cover family expenses, to pay the loan interest, and to invest the rest in her business.

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Translated from French by Kiva volunteer Daniel Kuey

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