Each member hopes to obtain a loan which they would use to buy stock and expand their respective businesses. An obligatory part of obtaining a loan is that members undergo training on how to manage credit and understanding their repayment schedule.
Members range in age from 20 to 57 and most of the group members are married with several children. Their small businesses are diverse, several of them sell food – bread, doughnuts, fruit, juices, fried plantain, porridge, pineapples, smoked fish, watermelons and yams.
Adjo Kemé is 39, is married with four children aged 19, 17, 12 and 9, the two youngest are at school. Adjo prepares ‘garri’ a carbohydrate made from cassava which is widely consumed in West Africa with a stew of beans. She works 50 hours a week preparing garri to sell in order to help her husband with the family’s finances.
Other small businesses run by members include women selling bags, shoes, second-hand clothes, combs and lipsticks, cosmetics and plates.
Taibatou Tidjani is a seamstress; she makes clothes and dolls. She is 50, is married with two children aged 19 and 15 who both attend school. She also supports her parents. Her loan capital would be used to buy fabric and kapok – the material she uses to stuff the dolls she makes to sell. Her ambition is to increase her family’s income and to improve her family’s standard of living.