Despite difficulties Koumia continues to aspire with help from Deki

Meet Koumia Agambia, 39, from Lomè.

Koumia Agambia, 39 lives in Lomè, Togo with her husband and three children, two of whom are now at school. She ran a small market stall to make ends meet. When her uncle fell sick, she had to pay for his medical expenses. This wasn’t something she had foreseen or able to prepare for, and has been one of the biggest challenges she encountered financially.   

Through the credit officer at IADES  (Institution D’Aide Au Developpement Economique Et Social), Deki’s field partner, Koumia learned the importance of savings during an outreach meeting, and following the meeting she managed to save 9,000 XOF (approx. £12). This training, and the savings she was able to put aside enabled her to take out her first push up loan from Deki. Push-up loans are designed to  help entrepreneurs get their first experience with a financial product. These loans are very small (typically under £30) and are provided interest free. This helps entrepreneurs, many of whom have no experience with any financial products, to learn about loans, repayments and key business skills. Once repaid, they can access larger loans through their community groups which will have a lasting impact on their business and overall financial resilience.

She is part of a community savings group called Assiko – the group members aim to support each other within their community. Once their group have reached their target from Deki sponsors, the microloans were distributed by our field partner IADES, to help the entrepreneurs’ business ventures grow and prosper.

Koumia trades in general goods such as cosmetics, hair and cleaning products. With her community group she also enrolled in the full training package offered by IADES, which has enabled her to improve her business.  Through using the micro-savings scheme she now saves 1000-2000 XOF a week, and keeps the profits in the business. Koumia has taken full advantage of the Deki microloans, having now had five loans in total through her Community Savings Group. Throughout her full loan history, she has made an impressive profit of 250,000 XOF (£340) to date.  

While her husband manages the household finances and the family, she focuses on the business, working a staggering 84 hours per week. Trading has improved, covering the family’s expenses using the profit. Previously Koumia had problems with selling to customers on credit, but her training has enabled her to manage this issue, on top of learning how to manage her loans and repayments, and her competition, which has prevented her cash flow from stagnating unnecessarily. 

Despite the obstacles Koumia has faced, she continues to work hard for her family and aspires to buy land, build a house in the future and dreams of having a big shop of her own.