Palladium provides debt finance for female shea nut pickers in Ghana

hand kneading high resThe company sources and processes shea nuts in northern Ghana from more than 5,000 women pickers. (Image source: Palladium)Global impact firm Palladium has invested in family-run social enterprise Naasakle, which supports female shea nut pickers and processors in northern Ghana

Naasakle operates a vertically integrated business model in the shea value chain – an industry which saw global demand for its products increase by 1,200 per cent from 2005 to 2015.

The company sources and processes shea nuts in northern Ghana from more than 5,000 women pickers, who have traditionally been cut off from a fair share of the profits of their labour.

Naasakle pays them up to 25 per cent more than the price usually handed over by middlemen and traders. The company then sells shea butter, locally referred to as “women’s gold,” in bulk to wholesale clients and packaged beauty products to retailers around the world.

Palladium’s loan is expected to help accelerate Nasaakle’s growth, through productivity improvements, equipment purchases and working capital funding. The company’s growth will benefit women nut pickers, for whom nut picking is the primary source of income, as well as processors.

Nasaakle also provides technical and financial literacy training, organises savings programmes and pays for local warehousing facilities. By providing these services, the company gives women access to a stable and ready market for their inputs with limited waste and higher payments.

Roberta Bove from Palladium Impact Investments said, “Naasakle helps bridge the gap between female shea nut pickers in northern Ghana and the increasing global demand for shea butter products.”

The loan to Naaskale is an ‘impact investment,’ as it mobilises Palladium’s own capital to improve the lives of shea nut pickers and processors in Ghana while generating a financial return. The company aims to add to an impactful nature of the investee enterprise, which delivers positive social and environmental impact, in a sustainable way.

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