Business activities of the Shea butter processors in the Bole district of the Savannah Region are expected to thrive following the provision of a business trainer of trainees (ToT) programme for women in business management skills, so as to enable them profit from the business.
The beneficiaries, drawn from five (5) communities in the Bole district of the Savannah Region, had their capacity built in quality productions, good marketing strategies, customer relations as well good packaging that will meet the market demand in order to generate some revenue to grow their businesses.
The programme afforded the women groups – who represent about 600 women cooperatives – an opportunity to interact among themselves and explore the experiences they had when making and selling the products. They were also linked to some investors to secure funding for their production.
It was organised by PureTrust Foundation-LBG, a Non-Governmental Organisation, with support from United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) under its West Africa Competiveness Project (WACOMP), and the European Union.
The WACOMP project invests in enhancing the export-competiveness of cosmetic and other products in Ghana.
The beneficiary groups in the Bole district, who are producers of Shea butter and other cosmetic products, are part of the Pagsung Shea Alliance led by Pagsung Shea Cooperative Association – a women-led group based in Tamale.
The training took place at Kilampobile, and the beneficiary communities include Bale, Chache, Seripe, Ntereso and Kilampobile.
The facilitator, Madam Rabi Bashiru Nuhu of Chibo House of Chemicals, said the training was to educate women on the need to add value to their products; and how to develop market strategies, good customer relations, among others, to boost their businesses.
This was to help revamp the business of women that was collapsing due to the economic situation and price hikes which have made things difficult for their soap-making businesses.
Most of them were on the verge of abandoning their businesses while others complained they were not able to recoup their capital invested, she explained.
“In business, there are two things when prices increase; it’s either you reduce the quantity of your product and sell it the same price, or you maintain the quantity and increase the price,” she said.
The programmes coordinator for Pure Trust Foundation-LBG, Alhassan Abdallah, said with the inception of COVID-19, most Shea butter businesses collapsed and the impact affected a majority of the women groups.
“Our research shows that most of the women who continue to produce the soap and other products do not make adequate profits due to high cost of the inputs; hence the refresher training,” he said.
Madam Martha Agandaa, Project support staff of PureTrust, encouraged beneficiary women to take the training seriously and apply knowledge gained to improve their income generation and livelihoods.
She also urged them to learn lessons from the challenges and successes of their businesses, adding that this will help them improve their business management abilities.