In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 40% of the population is living in absolute poverty. For them, a week’s wages are less than a typical American makes in an hour. Not enough to pay for the basics like food, clean water, clothing, shelter–the very items they need to survive in reasonable health. How can a tree nut and a cosmetics company help the women of this part of the world, not only survive, but empower them to thrive? Today on the show, we’re going to find out from our guest Jennifer Desimone from Shea Yeleen.
About Shea Yeleen
Shea Yeleen’s high quality collection of all natural fair trade beauty products that are not only wonderful for your skin, but also give back—here’s how—When you purchase Shea Yeleen beauty products, you help contribute to the living wages of the women from rural, sub-Saharan Africa who harvest the shea to create the shea butter.
What Shea Yeleen has set out to do is nothing short of a miracle in itself. Not only is this social enterprise’s mission to organize and train women in the villages of Ghana to produce high quality natural shea butter, Shea Yeleen uses this shea butter as the main component in a decadent and high quality body care line that they make available for sale to the western world. These sales then provide a fair wage to the women who own and work at the shea butter cooperatives in sub-Saharan Africa.
Social impact is at the core of their business
The company is focused on providing living wages for its 800 co-op employees as a means of women being able to empower themselves, provide food and educaiton for thier families, and improve the conditions within their communities.
The goal at end of day is for women to be self-sustaining, start new businesses, send their kids to school, and work with people within the communities.
For us the women are the core of our business model and we’ve made them central to our business and to our budgeting. I dont think companies like this can be successful unless they make it a priority. It’s not easy, it’s not cheap, but it’s the right thing to do.
Other Major Points
- Shea Yeleen built a facility that provides clean water to not only its operation, but an entire community
- Starting Bloc is an excellent resource for entrepreneurs and others throughout the world to avail themselves to help benefit not only themselves, but society as a whole.
- To get started in a cause, companies should consider:
- Investing in employees who can develop skill sets as well as create, strategize, implement and measure the impact of projects and initiatives
- Figure out the space that the organization works in and what they’re really good at
- Find a community with which they can align
- Don’t come from a mindset where companies just throw money at an issue and walk away
- A top down approach with management buy-in is critical for success
- The way that people can get started is to talk to people, get involved, learn the issues, and don’t just take for granted that if a company is working in a location that they’re doing it well. Do your research, ask your questions
Tweetable Nuggets from the Show
Shea Yeleen has offered our listeners a special discount.
Use the coupon code “socialgoodpodcast” to get 15% OFF products on their website!
- Facebook: /SheaYeleen
- Twitter: @SheaYeleen
- Instagram: @SheaYeleen
- Find Jennifer Desimone on LinkedIn
- Email Jennifer, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Starting Bloc