The power of determination


“My goal is to have a bike. If I had a bike, I could ride around the village faster. I am certain I could sell more.”

Juliette Zida is a widow and mother of six living in the remote village of Niéssega in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Her late husband’s family ordered her out of the family home when she sold precious livestock to keep her six children in school.


Juliette was alone, hungry, and in debt–but determined. She embarked on an 18-month journey with Trickle Up to gain the skills, tools, confidence and support network to create a brighter future for her children.


When Juliette received Trickle Up’s first seed capital grant installment of $80, she went to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, to buy products for her new vending business. Returning to Niéssega, her inventory sold out within 72 hours.

Juliette saw an opportunity: the upcoming Ramadan holiday would mean high demand for children’s clothing, shoes, and jewelry.

Juliette stocked up on these items. By the end of Ramadan, she had recouped her investment and accumulated working capital of nearly $120 as well as $100 in profit. “Before, I could not even buy shoes for my children,” she said.  “Now, I always keep a large stock of shoes because they sell faster and make more money.”

Confident in her new business, Juliette started planning for the future. She saved some of her profits and invested the rest in her family’s nutrition.

A supply of rice, fish, and vegetables ensures food on the table every day and a healthier diet for her children. She and 24 other participants formed a savings group where the women could safely save their profits and rely on one another in times of need. Juliette has already saved more than $100 and has accessed low interest credit to help her grow.



With a little encouragement and the right tools, Juliette has built a thriving business, has a support network of women in her village. “Now I can send my children to school,” she reports.

Juliette beams with confidence and is more determined than ever.

She has new aspirations: “My goal is to have a bike. If I had a bike, I could ride around the village faster. I am certain I could sell more.” During their Trickle Up journey, women like Juliette can generate a steady income and nest egg for their families for the first time in their lives. They no longer have to skip as many meals to be able to feed their children. They have better access to healthcare, can send their children to school, and become empowered as decision-makers in their households and communities.