Who said you need a financial institution for microfinance? These ladies certainly don’t! About 160 kilometers outside the capital of the African nation Burkina Faso, a group of women have come together to form their own microcredit system.  They raised the capital, and then spread it out to their members like a microfinance institution would do.  The capital comes from and is returned to the actual beneficiaries of microfinance.  The women started collecting and processing shea nuts, an industry left specifically to women in Burkina Faso.  As their microfinance system expanded, some women diversified into different lines of business, such as soap and firewood.  There are forty-eight total members of the all women association, who each pay about sixty cents a month.  The association accumulates these monthly payments and the interest paid on loans, and in turn finances other projects.  The women credit trust and good relationships with each other as the backbone of their organization.  This organization is a great example of truly grassroots microfinance.  Great job ladies!

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About Katherine Rodota

Katherine is a recent graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied International Business and French. She is currently working at a private equity firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Katherine loves to travel, and recently spent her summer volunteering in Mauritius.