Solidarity group of microfinance borrowers

Islande François

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IslandeA Lot by a Lot

Walk through the Mibalè market, and you can’t miss Islande François’s store.

Her brightly colored merchandise and engaging personality make it a popular spot among the vendors lining the street.

Islande first joined Fonkoze as a member of our core microfinance program, Solidarity lending, which provides starting loans of $75. She began by selling cosmetics in her local market in Mibalè, and over the course of six years, she was able to increase the size of her business, graduating to Business Development.

As a Business Development client, Islande has opened her own small store, where she sells a variety of home goods, beauty products, and purses. Her most recent loan was for $2,600.

Islande has used the profits from her business to buy land in Mibalè and build a six-room house, which she shares with her husband. The Kreyòl proverb goes, Pitia piti zwazo fè nich. “Little by little, a bird makes its nest.” For Islande, it might be better put, “a lot by a lot.”

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