Context

Among the 5 million active women in Burkina Faso (between 15 and 64 years of age), the vast majority are eager to undertake business not only to strengthen their own socioeconomic development but also to contribute to the sustainable development of the country and even of the continent.

However, the observation that the L'OCCITANE Foundation makes of its decades of intervention in the country, is that, most of these women have little confidence in themselves so as to repress the desire to undertake , these women hardly benefit from adequate technical support enabling them to master the machinery of business creation and development, finally, the conditions for financing entrepreneurial initiatives are not particularly favorable for them.

This observation partly justifies the low rate of less than 10% of women owners of formal businesses mentioned in the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES 2016-2020). The ambition of the L’OCCITANE Foundation, through this entrepreneurship program, is to support the initiatives of women in Burkina Faso, committed to creating or developing products or services that will contribute to sustainable improvement of the world.

 

Supported project

The L’OCCITANE Foundation launched the L’OCCITANE pour Elles program in 2016, a program to support entrepreneurial initiatives by women in Burkina Faso. This program aims to identify, through a competition, women leaders, visionaries and inspirers at the head of businesses in activity or in creation and to give a boost to their projects.

The second edition of the L'OCCITANE pour Elles competition, launched in June 2019, made it possible to select 6 new entrepreneurs, bringing the number of businesses supported to 15 since the start of the program. The Foundation provides personalized assistance to the winners of the competition, offering the following services according to the needs of each project:

  • Close support and in pairs with a person in charge of support
  • A communication team for visibility
  • The support of a lawyer and tax expert for structuring
  • A cycle of dedicated collective workshops
  • A suitable workspace and access to an active community
  • Technical support in accounting and financial management
  • Support for a transition to autonomy after support

To do this, the Foundation collaborates with actors such as the social incubator La Fabrique (www.lafabrique-bf.com) and the network of financiers Initiative France (http://www.initiative-france.fr), represented at Burkina as part of this program by Initiative Ouagadougou.

The 6 companies currently supported under the L’OCCITANE pour Elles program:

 

Learn differently, managed by Alexandra Parkouda : A company that offers educational games and toys for children, produced by local artisans. Its ambition is to find a place in the education of children by providing creative solutions to awakening and strengthening self-confidence and skills.

Alexandra Parkouda

Stéphanie Zongo's benchmark magazine: Stéphanie wishes to create a bilingual web platform whose objective is mainly to allow young people to choose their profession properly and define their professional training plan as well as their career plan.

Stéphanie Zongo

Recyclir'Afrik de Amiratu Porgo: Amiratu officially aims to set up a business for the collection, processing and marketing of solid waste, particularly used tires. Its ambition is to contribute to reducing the health and environmental impacts linked to the inadequate management of used tires by transforming more tires into accessible, innovative furniture and decorative objects and games for children.

Amiratu Porgo

Palobdé Services, managed by Emilie Kyedrebéogo: A company which manufactures and markets washable sanitary napkins mainly made from local and natural materials. Emilie aims to position her company as one of the essential structures in Burkina Faso and internationally which offers sustainable solutions in terms of reusable, suitable protections, of certified quality and accessible to all.

Emilie Kyendrébéogo

KalanExpo, Co-managed by Marie Kanla: A company that gives dead wood a second life (from naturally dried trees) by transforming it, in particular, into lumber intended for professionals and craftsmen of wood and into objects and furniture designs. Marie’s wish is to position her company in a prestigious market niche and improve its environmental impact through the labeling of its products and concrete awareness raising among a large audience.

Marie Kalan

Biobag, founded by Aïssa Traoré: A company that offers an alternative to the use of plastic bags by designing and marketing paper packaging. Aïssa wishes to make suitable and ethical products accessible to everyone on the one hand and on the other, to work more on the profitability of Biobag packaging.

Aïssa Traoré

Some figures

The objective is to support by publishing 4 to 8 companies run by women in Burkina Faso. The winners will receive tailor-made support ranging from 6 to 24 months depending on the needs, which will allow them to launch their project and be independent thereafter.

Forecast budget 259 840 euros

Aim 6 women to support

History

1rst edition launched in 2016
 

Total budget 510 769 euros

Total goal 1416 women supported

The L’Occitane pour Elles program is the result of the restructuring and lessons learned from support projects for female entrepreneurship previously supported in Burkina Faso by L’OCCITANE through its Foundation and its employees. The first edition of L’OCCITANE pour Elles supported 9 businesses run by women. 5 of them were supported with interest-free credit and financial management advisory support. The other 4 selected through the competition benefited from more complete and personalized support reserved for the winners of the competition. These were : 

La Savonnerie Nununa : A company that transforms shea butter made by thousands of rural women into cosmetic products such as soap, ointment, cream and balm.

 

 

Barkissa Bassia

Centre Adaja : The Adaja center is a company engaged in the professional integration of vulnerable women (with very modest living conditions) through the making and marketing of woven loincloths made from cotton produced locally "FASO DANFANI"

Femmes Adaja

Agro Déogracias : A company processing fruit into natural juices 100% made in Burkina. Thanks to this company, Esther contributes not only to the promotion of the wild fruits of the country but especially to the improvement of the living conditions of her collaborators (employees, producers, pickers ...)

Ester Diendéré

L’Auxiliaire : A training company in personal assistance professions, in particular: early childhood professions, assistance to the elderly / sick and or dependent, serving the household.

Rebecca Soulama