Total loan: $9,500


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Loveland, OH, United States / Retail

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Manny's story

Growing up in Ghana, education was subsidized so students are required to serve in the “National Service Program” for one year to give back to the nation. After high school, I was posted to one of the most remote villages in the county called Tansia in Northern Region, Ghana, as an elementary school teacher. The school so was poor that the teachers and students sat on blocks of cement at school. Tansia is 15 miles away from the nearest urban town (Bawku), and townsfolk walked back and forth to town. The only real means of transportation was a truck that came to the village once a week and transported humans and animals alike. In Tansia, I came in contact with shea butter in large quantities. Shea trees grow predominantly in Sub-Saharan Africa; providing work for 16 million women. In Ghana, shea trees are an essential part of the people’s living. Shea butter is used as a moisturizer and beauty product and other parts of the shea tree are used for medicine and washing. When I came to the United States, my mission was to establish a business that will benefit both the people of Africa and the United States simultaneously. My experience in Tansia and the sad fact of slow development in Africa energized me. I chose to enter shea butter industry for two main reasons: First, to provide economically disadvantaged women in Ghana with sustainable jobs, fair wages, and community development projects in health, education and much needed clean drinking water; Second, to provide people in the United States with high-quality shea butter products and expose them to the many benefits it provides. I considered this a win-win situation for both our customers in the US and the people of Ghana. I continue to work relentlessly towards my mission.