To address the longstanding economic hardships in Mali, the Alliance’s economic development initiatives began in 1995 when small individual loans were offered to villagers in the town of Ouelessebougou. After the Alliance had provided these loans for several years, (aiding tailors, veterinarians, restaurateurs, etc.) the Alliance determined there was a greater need in the more rural village communities. In 2004, the Alliance restructured its loan program and began offering revolving loans to village committees in larger amounts—allowing for an increased profit margin. Now the Alliance’s loan program reaches 15 villages. In each village an Economic Development Committee has been formed by the village chief. This committee is charged with the creation of its business plan and ensuring that the loan is paid back in full and on time.
Revolving Loans for Self-Reliance
In this year’s annual assessment, only 33% of villagers said that their monthly income is sufficient to meet their needs. In order to increase financial opportunities at the individual level, many Economic Development Committees have decided to disseminate money from their village loan to village citizens for micro-finance business ventures.
This year, the Alliance funded $16,000 in new village loans. The villages of Simidji, Famana, Sena, and Tentoukoro each received $4,000 USD for new micro-loan business ventures.
Individual loans were used to invest in small businesses like raising and selling chickens or charcoal. These individual loans are proving to be highly profitable.
Since 2004, the Alliance has loaned $134,868 USD to village communities. Nine villages are currently participating in the Alliance’s loan program.
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