Creating impact is not easy
How do you create change? Impact implies change and creating change is incredibly complicated in any context. We believe that the only one who can actually sustainably change a life is the person living it and the only person who can protect the environment in the long term, is the person living in it. As such what we do is create access and opportunities for our women suppliers.
Our focus and activities
1. Economic Empowerment
2. Social Empowerment
3. Environmental protection
We address these challenges through activities integral to our business operations. In addition, with support from our partners we are also able to maximize our impact and implement impact specific activities for our suppliers as set out below.
1. Provide income generating opportunities = access to money
We provide a market for Nilotica shea nuts for our suppliers against a significantly higher than average market price. This allows them to earn income from a, for them, easy to access resource. Second, supported by our partner Vero Moda and together with our suppliers we have created a special line of Nilotica based skincare that they retail in their own communities to also make moeny from that.
2. Provide access to knowledge and skills = access to training and information
We have completed 4 curriculums of training so far: lifeskills, post-harvest handling, entrepeneurship skills and financial literacy. In addition, we provide continuous training based on request from our suppliers. For example inventory record keeping and sales techniques. We are always available for them to answer any questions that they might have. Our overall goal is to make sure that they have the skills to use the money earned from Caio to realize their dreams, and to facilitate learning.
3. Provide inspiration = show them what is possible
Half the battle is making a woman believe that it is possible to be in charge and shape her own life. Once she truly believes this, deep down inside her a spark is lit and she will make it happen. We want all women to realize that they can run a business or be a lawyer or choose to only have 1 child. Due to the lack of access to information (internet and newspapers are luxuries in the communities in which we work) women and girls in particular don’t get exposed to many rolemodels that they can identify with. As such we make a concerted effort to 1) act like rolemodels ourselves;This means we actively seek to employ young women and make sure that they work within the community and are rolemodels; assertive, strong, kind, independent and kick-ass when needed. 2) bring in external rolemodels. Women, mostly from Uganda and sometimes from their own areas, who have made it in business, as a political leader or in whichever area they have chosen. We invite them to speak at specific meetings so that women see what is possible. We want to light that spark within them and encourage them to dream big dreams.
4. Actively protect the environment = protect the Nilotica tree population
In all of our trainings we include an element of environmental protection and climate change so that they recognize why it is so important to protect the environment and also include easy measures that they can take in their daily life to help. Tools such as solar power and using improved stoves are also advocated and when possible brought to the suppliers for sale. We support the Nilotica tree propagation efforts and are currently exploring ways to implement for example a tree planting scheme to further increase the Nilotica shea tree population.