Entrepreneurship appears to be a fundamental element of economic and social development. In Burkina Faso, women represent 51% of the population,  while their contribution to development through entrepreneurship remains miniscule. In fact of the 51,580 official businesses created in 2012, only 4,527 were managed by women, less than 9%1. The fact that this figure is so low is due to several obstacles: lower levels of literacy, training and qualification, as well as greater difficultly accessing financing.

1National strategy to promote women's entrepreneurship - 2016


Supported project

The L'OCCITANE Foundation started the 'L'OCCITANE pour Elles' programme with objective of promoting and accelerating women's business projects. This programme aims to identify, via a competition, the inspiring and visionary women leading active and creative businesses.  
This year brings the second edition of the 'L'OCCITANE pour Elles' competition! The competition is for women entrepreneurs aged between 20 and 40 living in Ouagdougou. 
Competition winners will receive individual support (technical, legal and fiscal assistance, increased visibility for projects, fundraising, personal development, access to tailored workspaces etc.)

This support is possible thanks to the cooperation of multiple actors brought together by the Foundation for the programme: social incubator La Fabrique, the Initiative France and Initiative Ouagadougou consortium, the Burkina Faso Business Centre and ProFeJec (Women, Youth and Citizens Project), and a partnership with the PNUD and the Ministry of Luxembourg.

Some figures

The aim is for each edition to support four to six business led by women in Burkina Faso. Winners receive individual support lasting from 6 to 24 months, depending on requirements, so that they can launch their projects and operate independently afterwards 

For the second edition  

Forecast budget 280 000 euros

Goal 6 women supported


1rst edition launched in 2016

Total budget 524 009 euros

Total goal 83 158 women supported

The first edition helped to support the socio-economic development of more than 1300 women across four businesses.Businesses supported as part of this edition:
- La Savonnerie Nununa : production of soaps and cosmetics using shea butter
- Centre Adaja: centre for professional integration and the manufacture of linen clothing
- Agro Déogracias:  juice production using local fruits (Entreprise Agro Déogracias) 
-  L’Auxiliaire : training centre for personal assistance professions


Eliénaï, Director General Adaja

"We used to create and deliver clothing on an individual basis, which took a lot of time and didn't make enough money. Now we create collections (using economies of scale) and have shops and a delivery service for large orders. These new strategies mean we suffer less, spend less and earn more on each item of clothing. As part of a programme like this, existing business like ours particularly need specialised training like the kind offered by Le Ghanéen. This training will be very useful in the long term to help us stand out from the competition."

Eliénaï Diendéré