Titiwa Mwanji and her husband have two children and another one on the way. They’re excited, not worried, because Titiwa’s business is booming.
Titiwa used to have a small shop in Kingasani, a suburb of Kinshasa. Rent was just $15 a month, but business was bad because of the store’s poor location. Her husband could not find work, like many men in Kinshasa.
Then Titiwa joined the FINCA Tosungana (We will help each other) Village Bank. She used her first loan of $80 to move her store to the main street of the Pascal Markets in the Commune of Masina. Though rent is $25 a month, her profits soared and she has never looked back.
With Titiwa’s second loan of $160, she added powdered milk to the rice, sugar, salt and flour she already sold. Her third loan of $320 keeps Titiwa smiling. She bought a very large quantity of rice in the dry season, when it is cheapest. Rice is imported from Asia and must be trucked to Kinshasa on roads that become treacherous in the rainy season.
Thanks to her investment in rice, Titiwa’s profits have gone through the roof.
She was able to buy an electric hot plate cooker, so she doesn’t have to burn charcoal indoors, which is bad for her and her baby and the other children.
Titiwa is already talking about her next loan. She wants to open another store in a different market, selling the same products. Titiwa knows her business and, with a little help from FINCA, she is confident of success.