Today is a good day for women in northern Ghana!
Dear friends of the shea project in Ghana in collaboration with Planet Finance,
In News from Ghana and the Shea Project in collaboration with Planet Finance I shared an overview about all the technology components that we have built and are going to implement as part of the project. One of them is the marketing webpage for the associations. This is where the women can describe their offerings and hopefully attract new buyers. Check it out:
You might ask what the ‘star’ in ‘starshea’ means. The women wanted to add the star, because the five pointed lone star is part of the Ghanaian flag and the symbol of African emancipation – the football fans of you might remember the “Black Stars”, the national football team of Ghana who made it to the round of 8 in the world cup 2010.
Although I claim that today is a good day for women in northern Ghana, unfortunately most of them won’t even know. They do not have high bandwidth Internet access and due to high illiteracy rated they could not read the information anyway. But we shared earlier drafts with them, showed them some pictures and explained the content – and the women were extremely happy and thankful.
Why this page?
The purpose of the page is predominantly a marketing tool for the women that are part of the project. A major reason why women do not get their fair share of the cake is because they lag access to international markets and have to sell to local middlemen instead. One of the project’s objectives is to change that and the web page is an important tool to market their services to international buyers.
The value proposition of the women’s network is simple. The Star Shea Network delivers high quality shea products in economic quantities, directly from rural women. We don’t know of any other network who could claim that, so this value proposition is truly unique and exactly what big buyers are looking for.
From conversations with a few potential buyers we know that it is all about creating awareness. Buyers need to know that this channel is there. Due to the nature of the shea business, however, they won’t buy online and consequently you will miss the online store feature. It is all about spreading the word.
Of course you don’t have to be a potential buyer to find the page valuable. PlaNet Finance, SAP and the women will also use this platform to inform about the project and the activities to anyone who is interested. You will see lots of interesting pictures from recent field visits – yes, all the women are from the project and many of them I had the pleasure to talk to. You will learn more detailed what is means for the women to produce high quality nuts and butter. And you will see more frequent updates with news and successes. Please take advantage of the RSS feeder to stay on top what is going on.
Six degrees to a buyer
Help the women spread the word. If we somewhat believe in the ‘six degrees‘ theory, where everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, then all we need to do is sharing the information about starshea.com with friends and they with their friends. There might be a person who is involved in buying shea products not too far away 🙂