Palladium Impact Investments provides debt finance to support female shea nut pickers and processors in Ghana

  • Palladium Impact Investments provides cash boost to female-owned company Naasakle to support more than 5,000 women shea nut pickers and processors in northern Ghana
  • Naasakle manufactures shea butter for the cosmetic industry and then sells in bulk to US wholesale clients as well as packaged beauty products to the retail market
  • Global demand for shea butter products increased by 1200% from 2005 to 2015
  • Palladium’s financing will accelerate Naasakle’s growth and the fair treatment of local pickers and processors, through production improvements, equipment purchases and working capital

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% more than the price usually handed over by middlemen and traders. Naasakle 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 will help accelerate Nasaakle’s growth, through production 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.

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Roberta Bove from Palladium Impact Investments said “We are proud to be backing Naasakle and look forward to working with them to ensure the business’ success and its positive impact for rural women who are routinely cut off from a fair share of the profits emanating from their labour.

“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. At the core of Palladium’s investment criteria is the impactful nature of the investee enterprise, which delivers positive social and/or environmental impact, in a sustainable way. Businesses that Palladium invests in, such as Naasakle, have positive impact embedded right into their business models, and as the businesses’ growth accelerates thanks to Palladium’s funding so does their contribution to vulnerable people in developing countries.