Palladium Impact Investments a global impact firm has provided 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.

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.

Palladium is a global impact firm, working to link social progress and commercial growth. For the past 50 years, we’ve been helping our clients to see the world as interconnected – by formulating strategies, building partnerships, and implementing programs that have a lasting social and financial impact.

We simply call this “Positive Impact”.
Palladium aims to bridge the gap between aid and impact investments to deliver Positive Impact. Impact investments mobilise private capital to address social and/or environmental issues while generating a financial return for investors and often complement traditional sources of grant funding such as donors and aid agencies.

Palladium works with corporations, governments, investors, communities, and civil society. With a global network operating in over 90 countries, Palladium is in the business of making the world a better place.

Naasakle International LLC (Naasakle) is a majority-female-owned company that manufactures shea butter for the cosmetic industry. Naasakle helps to bridge the gap between rural shea nut-pickers (exclusively female) in Northern Ghana and global shea butter demand through its two business lines: bulk shea butter sales to distributors and brands (Naasakle) and sales of finished high-end cosmetic products directly to consumers (Eu’Genia Shea).

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