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Income Doubled During COVID

Dear friends, below is our September 2021 report.

It has been a long while since we have been in contact with you. We appreciate your patience while we make progress on this journey together.
2020 was a very unusual year for everyone, with hurdles at every turn. Nonetheless, our work is important for the families we serve and we could not put it on hold.

During COVID, we doubled incomes for Mali women

An African proverb says: " If you want to go as, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
With your purchases from Djimi Djama and the generous support of our donors, we are continuing to work together to help families prosper in West Africa. As a reminder, we launched a new program in 2020 called Street Business  Innovation Program. This new program supports small informal businesses and is made possible because AGILE- international has a new partnership with Diallaba Association, a group of women dedicated to working hard to feed their families. We are also working with informal young entrepreneurs operating on the ground with a mission of economic development in Mali. As a native of Mali and with our close and direction connection to the community, we acquired a unique understanding of the culture. Therefore we are immersed in this work moving together to strengthen the Street Business Innovation Program.
Read Lavieille’s story below for an example of how our program is changing the lives of entrepreneurs and their families by building their small businesses stronger and better than before COVID-19.

Street Business Innovation Program

Lavieille, part of the Street Business Innovation Program

Our Street Business Innovation Program provides hands-on business training and live feedback to entrepreneurs running small businesses.

Lavieille is one of the small-business owners we have empowered through our program.

AGILE-international guided Lavieille to build a strong business plan. Djimi Djama partnered to complement the plan with a microloan of $2500 and a grant of $500 to invest in her business.

Alima, Lavielle’s Mother, Serving Food

Lavielle Is the third generation running her family’s business. The family has owned a stand since the 1970s selling meals on a street corner of mali’s capital, Bamako. When we connected, she told us she starts every day at 5 Am to run her business. Lavieille, along with her mother, Alima, and 22 other women, sell meals to people passing by. Due to Lavieille’s friendly personality and funny jokes, people come from all over the city to buy food from Lavieille’s three stands. Through her Commitment, hard work, and long hours, Lavieille earns $200-300 a Day.However, the business was in crisis when we met Lavieille and Alima. The structure urgently needed repairs and was no longer safe. She needed funding to make the repairs. Alima was also concerned that she is Getting older and that she didn’t have a transition plan for retirement.

We knew immediately that Lavieille is a great candidate for our new Street Business Innovation Program. We launched a project under the umbrella of our Street Business Innovation Program Called Wamba Muso, The equivalent of Wonder Woman in Mali. Through Wamba Muso Project, We Provided her with a loan and a grant to make the repairs.

To help her make the most of the funding, we provided business training and financial literacy courses and helped her develop a business plan to innovate and expand her business.

Lavieille and Alima worked together to create crucial goals such as retirement planning, knowledge transfer, and generational transitioning.

Lavielle (right center in blue vest) busy serving her customers on a busy day.

With this investment from Djimi Djama and AGILE- International, she was able to save her workforce of 24 women and continue to serve her customers. Now her clients are all over the capital city and she even ships to the north of the country.

As a reminder, AGILE-International and Djimi Djama collaborate to make the Street Business Innovation Program a success. AGILE-International trains our program participants and Djimi Djama provides the necessary funds to complement donations from our supporters and provides access to markets through its eCommerce.

Supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs has an exponential impact on the entire community. Although we directly supported only a few small businesses in the past six months, that support has resulted in the following achievements:

  1. We are empowering 24 women and girls to regain ownership of food production from farm to table and innovate that process.
  2. We are promoting a new source of energy, replacing charcoal, and reversing desertification trends in the region. The project empowers a dozen men and youth to create local jobs and break free from the endless cycle of foreign aid. More information in our next newsletter!
  3. We are giving microloans to our entrepreneurs to invest in their businesses, either for supplies or repairs of business-critical infrastructure.
  4. We are expanding our clean energy transition program to 50 more villages, reaching over 200,000 people in the past six months.

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Vibrant, Authentic West African
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Laptop In The Main Compartment And A
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Check out our newest bags! As always, (30%) of our profits goes to AGILE-International to support small businesses and local agriculture in West Africa. You can be confident you are supporting a sustainable business that provides fair wages.
You are also supporting the female entrepreneurs who create the bags.
And You Will Look Good While Doing It!

Interested in joining us drive this change?

Our Mission
Empower rural women, return Mali and West Africa to food security. Get in contact