Our KIVA loan this month goes to this smiling group of women from Bougoula Ville, Mali. In this Group: Sali Bamba, Fatoumata Kone, Habi Ouattara, Aminata Traore, Macoura Traore, Chata Sangare, Mariam Coulibaly, Oumou Bagayoko, Rokiatou Djire and Sarata Coulibaly.
All the group's members are married, some in the traditional polygamous family structures common to this part of Africa. They have a median age of 34 and between them have 40 children.
This is their 11th loan with the microfinance institution Soro Yiriwaso, and all their previous loans have been paid in full. This ability to access capital to invest in their businesses is vitally important to business people everywhere, but even more so to women like these, who have no access to capital through the regular banking system which demands collateral and is only interested in large dollar loans. This is the reason microfinance is so important, especially to women in the Third World, who have little hope of improving their lives otherwise.
The women in the Benkadi Group each have their own business selling diverse articles like potatoes, soap, second-hand clothes, etc. Sali Bamba (a group member) sells potatoes and will use her loan to purchase 20 cases of potatoes at the large market of Médine in Sikasso. She will resell these potatoes at the local village market and from her home on a cash basis. Sali envisions making an average profit of the equivalent of $31.00 US monthly. A part of the profit will be used to support her family's needs and the other part will be invested back in her business.