INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities and industries.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I butter people up with ethically sourced shea butter body care products that provide living wages to women in Ghana.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Our tagline is “Transform your Skin, Transform a Community.” We believe that every woman should be able to care for herself and her children, and through selling our products we provide financial independence for women in rural communities of Ghana.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Each product we sell increases a woman’s income by five times the Ghanaian minimum wage of $2/day. This allows women to invest in sending their kids to school, buying household needs, and contributing to their savings.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
I was inspired to start Shea Yeleen after serving in the Peace Corps. It was my first experience living in a rural West African village and since I am a first generation Ghanaian, I felt a deep connection to the women in my community. Witnessing their financial struggles compelled me to research income generating ideas for women in rural villages, and I learned about shea butter and its connection to the lives of women in the Sahel region of Africa. I saw a disconnect between the traditional shea butter producers and the global marketplace. Creating Shea Yeleen bridges that gap by helping women create quality natural products that connect to US customers.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
I want to take over the world with shea butter! Honestly, nothing could be better than changing a supply chain that directly benefits the harvesters and producers of this amazing product. Every single shea butter producer in Africa (about 16 million women) should be able to financially benefit from the globalization of a local resource. My goal is to make that happen.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
Two key resources: talented, creative, and passionate staff and market access for our products.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Attracting the right staff members who are skilled and committed to the growth of Shea Yeleen. As a start-up without having a larger budget it has been a challenge finding the right team members. However, as the company scales I hope to tackle this issue.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Build social impact into your business from day one! Don’t wait until you are a multi-millionaire to start thinking about how to give back. The fabric of your business model should be making a positive social impact.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Please follow and engage with us on social media & purchase our products via our website, select Whole Foods Markets, and MGM Resorts!
Orapin Marketing + Public Relations is an award-winning communications agency that generates awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for mission-driven organizations. We amplify their voice and reach so they can increase their impact. If you would like to be featured on INSPIRED IMPACT, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.