A little help can take you a long way

Massamba Diouf used to run a stationary shop for a living, the profits of which would go to support his wife and two children. During a turbulent time, when he was facing strong competition, he came to Zidisha for help. His ultimate ambition was to use the proceeds of the Zidisha loan to start up a t-shirt and sports shirt business. However, he would need the clothing equipment first to make such an aspiration a reality. Sam Gant, our Client Relationship Manager in Senegal, managed to interview Mr. Diouf on the current state of his affairs:
I’m a Client Relationship Volunteer in Dakar and I visited Massamba the other day in his shop. There were basic office and printing supplies in his shop which he shares with several business partners. What he was most intent on talking about, however, was the t-shrt press that he purchased with his loan and now uses to put prints on t-shirts and baseball caps.
He showed an example of his progress with mastering the press as well as a very nice Zidisha shirt he recently designed with a Client Relationship Manager. He seemed to be doing well with his new business and mentioned that advertisement of his business was spreading slowly but surely, mostly by word of mouth. He seems most hopeful of making shirts for sporting events like football and wrestling as well as various festivals and campaigns.
Massamba lives behind the shop with his wife and two young children. He uses the profits from the store and his new shirt-printing business to support his family. He hopes to be able to save up enough with the new profits to buy certain supplies like expensive printing paper in bulk to cut costs. He also expressed interest in another loan upon the successful completion of this loan for buying in bulk for both his t-shirt press business and the boutique.

Catching Up with Djibril at Senegal’s Premier Retail Shop

The last time we meet up with Djibril Pouye he was selling various electronic devices in his shop. Now, in addition to selling iPads, laptops, and cellphones, Djibril has added chic perfumes to his stock for resale! Djibril’s high-end products allows him to differentiate himself from stiff competition. Even though he sells fancy products, Djibril still only earns about $9.66 per day. While he isn’t earning much money, Djibril can still afford to continue paying for his brother’s schooling. Check out what Sam Gant, one of our Client Relationship Interns in Senegal, had to say about meeting up with Djibril recently:

Dear Lenders,

My name is Sam Gant and I’m currently one of the Client Relationship Managers working here in Dakar, Senegal. Today I got to meet with Djiby, an extremely enterprising young man who took time out of his hectic workday in Dakar’s bustling Alize market to meet with me at his home in Parcelles. Djiby has recently expanded the products of his mobile business to include different perfumes, such as Lacoste, Black XS, and Allure, which e buys in bulk at Sandaga market for 1000 CFA per bottle and sells to his customers for a 50% markup. Often clients will request specific products that he will find for them, but following his partnership with Zidisha Djiby is able to do more business by having a wider range of stock on hand.

Djiby lives on thin margins, paying an average of 3000 CFA per day on food and transport, in addition to the 25,000 per month he pays for housing– meanwhile, he earns 5000 CFA on the average day. He is very committed to his family, and turns over part of his money to them to help his brother continue his education. He thanks you for your patience and confidence in him, and hopes to apply for another loan once he has repaid this one. 

Natural Healing in Dakar

Mme. Traore

Living in a developing country presents many challenges that Westerners have long forgotten about. Over the counter healthcare products, for example, are something that most can purchase at a whim. In Dakar, Senegal things are not so easy. Madame Aissatou Traore is trying to provide some relief for those in need of such healthcare products. By partnering with Arizona based Forever Living Products, Aissatou is able to distribute their health products in Parcelles, a neighborhood of Dakar. Sam Gant, our Client Relationship Intern, had a chance to meet with Mme. Traore recently. You can read about their meeting in Sam’s own words below:

Dear Lenders,

My name is Sam Gant and I’m one of the Client Relationship Managers here in Senegal. On Thursday June 7th I had the opportunity to meet with Aissatou in her home in Parcelles, where she showed me both the aloe vera plans that she grows in her courtyard and the astounding variety of aloe vera refined products she sells–through her company she has access to more than 300 products. Mme Traore believes strongly in the value of natural supplements as preventative management, and explained how a variety of dietary supplements and ointments could serve to keep her clients healthy. Aissatou is a model vendor for FOREVER products– she has used aloe products to help her mother through a bout of illness, and with her profits from sales she recently moved to a larger apartment. 

She is a very capable and canny businesswoman who is willing to put in long hours of travel to succeed in the entrepreneurial field. She recently made a14 hour long day trip 50 kilometers outside of Dakar to spread her products, and keeps meticulous notes of all of her clients to keep them stocked with their chosen supplements. 

Mme Traore is very grateful to her lenders for supporting her, and works hard to overcome any setbacks she encounters. 

Staying Busy in Senegal

Serigne

Serigne Mbacké Guèye is a young sheep farmer from Sema, a village in Senegal. Serigne has raised sheep since he was a small child, and has grown quite fond of the profession. His sheep are especially popular during certain Muslim feasts. Serigne originally wanted to purchase 20 sheep, some feed, veterinary services, and a shepard to watch over his flock while he works in Dakar. His Zidisha loan has allowed him to buy the additional sheep and pay for the other related costs. In addition to paying for his farming related activities, Serigne was able to invest in a street boutique! While he was is in Dakar our Client Relationship Intern Sam Gant had a chance to meet up with Serigne. Below you can read what Sam wrote about their meeting.

The Mosque where Serigne works part-time.

Dear Lenders,

My name is Sam Gant and I’m one of the Client Relationship Managers active in Senegal right now. Today I met with Serigne at the mosque where he works in the genteel Point E neighborhood, and in only a few hours received a dizzying and informative tour of the Mosque, Serigne’s home, and the neighborhood in general. Serigne remains engaged in a diversity of industries–he primarily divides his time between doing upkeep work at the mosque and working at his store Parapluies Mondiales in the HLM market. Although he continues to buy food for his sheep he has stopped expanding the flock that his family maintains in the village. 

He explained that business has been slow following the tumultuous elections, and he expects that he will be able to maximize his loan once the commercial climate improves. He anticipates a significant financial boost in the fall as clients begin buying sheep for a number of upcoming festivals, but for the time being the flocks need time to mature. He was very appreciative towards the Zidisha lenders and hopes to keep you apprised of future developments. 

-Sam Gant

Dakar’s Apple Store

Monsieur Pouye

Meet Zidisha borrower Djibril Pouye. Dijibril is from Dakar, Senegal, and is in the electronics business. He sells everything from mobile telephones to laptops (even iPads!). However, because his stock is costly, he needed some additional capital to purchase stock. That is when the Zidisha lenders gave Djibril a loan that helped him reach his goals!

Our very own Madeline met with Djibril in Dakar this past week. Check out her impression of Djibril and his shop in her own words below:

Hi Lenders, 

I was able to visit Djibril (Djiby) last week at his electronics business. He and his brother own a small shop located in a bustling indoor electronics market. They sell cell phones, but also secondhand laptops, iPads, and other specialty electronics. With many other vendors surrounding them, Djiby’s business differentiates itself from competition by selling higher-end electronics. Currently, Djiby says the iPhone is their best seller. 

They are currently paying back their first loan and are eager to finish the payments quickly in order to take out a second, bigger loan to support their growing business.