Women’s Day this year falls on 8th March and is a chance to reflect on and celebrate the social, cultural and political achievement of women (according to the website). It seems to be rather a wide brief and with that sentiment, probably the last thing you’ll think of is the women of Burkina Faso producing Shea butter. However, L’Occitane has chosen to focus thoughts for Women’s Day on women in developing countries and you will probably already know they have a long standing relationship with women in Burka Faso. Thirty years ago, L’Occitane started working with 12 women to product the shea butter that is used in L’Occitane products. Today, it’s 17,000 women. That’s quite something!
L’Occitane has their own global programme, Women For Burkina, with the objectives of assisting with literacy, access to micro-loans and promotion of entrepreneurial actions. Funds raised from the sale of Ultra-Soft Balm help to finance the programme.
We don’t really think of women in developing countries as entrepreneurs, but every woman that starts her own area of shea production is indeed an entrepreneur. When you realise that only one in five women have had the opportunity to learn to read and write in Burkina Faso, it drives home what an achievement it is to run your own business, no matter how small.
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So, while I’m pretty sure that on Women’s Day, we’ll hear about the achievements of women from all over the world, I like the idea of focusing on the tiny seeds of change that make up a much bigger picture and the L’Occitane programme is a very good example of this.
I nearly forgot to tell you what Ultra Soft Balm is! It’s a multi-purpose, shea laden balm for anywhere that needs nourishing – lips, face, body and even hair. It’s got a rosy scent and it’s a bit of a snip at £4. It’s in store and on-line HERE already.
*L’Occitane contributes 100% of the profit minus taxes, transport and product costs.
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