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Ghanaian startup Sommalife joins 2022 cohort of the Social & Inclusive Business Camp

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The Ghanaian startup Sommalife , a social enterprise with a mission to sustain income and impact for women shea producers in Northern Ghana has announced that part of this 2022 cohort of the Social & Inclusive Business Camp, a program designed by the French Development Agency.

The programme has officially launched its 6th edition, welcoming the 43 entrepreneurs of the 2022 cohort from among more than 380 applications across the African continent. These start-ups will have access to a complete program whose objective is to prepare them for the change of scale and which includes training, mentoring, exchanges between peers and meetings with investors, notably during the 6th edition of EMERGING Valley, a summit dedicated to African innovation which will take place on November 29, 2022 in Marseille (France). Active in various sectors (agri-food, sustainable development, energy, education, health…), these entrepreneurs, more than half of whom are women, share inspiring and hopeful backgrounds, through their entrepreneurial commitment to address concrete social and environmental issues.

Christina Mawuse Gyisun, CEO of Sommalife, explains  I am a social innovator with interest in improving the livelihood of rural smallholder farmers. I have over five experience working with development organizations including Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and Agriculture Finance Consultants (AFC) Gmbh. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Development Communication from the University for Development Studies, Ghana. At GIZ, I facilitated the training of Agricultural Extension Agents on climate-smart agricultural practices on topics including improved seeds, no-till farming, and other conservation agriculture principles. I used my development communication skills to design sensitisation learning materials for schools in Northern Ghana as a strategy to cause behavior change in young people to be climate resilient.  I facilitated the creation of promotional videos highlighting outstanding women and their contributions to climate resilience within the agricultural value chain. »

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 Mawuse Gyisun grew up in the poorest region in Ghana (Upper West Region) and experienced firsthand poverty with her family. While in school and after school, she took up jobs that brought her closer to smallholder women farmers. She underlines : I wondered why these women work hard, produce food to feed the world, and still remained poor. It was even more puzzling to observe the heavy presence of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and aid programmes did not have lasting changes in the livelihood of these women. To help these women out of poverty, I founded Sommalife in 2020, a social enterprise with a mission to sustain income and impact for women shea producers in Northern Ghana.  I decided to use entrepreneurship to reduce rural poverty by resourcing smallholders to become sustainable business owners while making a positive impact on their environment. »

Sommalife is currently leveraging technology to resource over 18,000 women farmers in Northern Ghana to earn 18% extra income above local markets.

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The startup aims to move rural smallholder farmers above the poverty line as they run their own businesses sustainably. Christina Mawuse Gyisun adds :  ” I want to ensure that when global economic reports are produced, my districts shouldn’t be the poorest anymore. My region, Upper West Region shouldn’t continue to be the poorest in Ghana.  My country and other West African countries shouldn’t always be at the bottom. »

Christina Mawuse Gyisun assumes ambitious development objectives : ”  I want to lead my team to deepen our impact in Ghana and scale to other West African countries. What we did with our market access programme last year with over 2,000 women, earning 18% additional income, we want to replicate that and increase the number to 20,000 women by end of this year. In addition to that we are making conservation a big part of our business, where we support local communities to plant and manage early maturing shea trees. We want them to become agents of conservation. We are making it easy for partners to invest in conservation projects and have very accurate and timely reports through our Software. So, Any organization or individual interested can reach out to me. »

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About her participation to SIBC program, Christina Mawuse Gyisun says : My expectation for the programme is to improve my technical and leadership skills to run my business successfully and scale impact to reach more rural communities across West Africa. I hope to connect with a network of experts and experienced mentors to make this possible. Additionally, I hope the programme will connect me to investors and grantors to raise funds to finance the resource needs of my business. I also hope to engage with other entrepreneurs for inspiration as well as share my knowledge and experience to inspire other young business leaders. »

Christina Mawuse Gyisun is participating to the 6th edition EMERGING Valley on November, 29th. She expects  connecting with investors and grantors to raise funds to finance the resource needs of her business.

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Milcah Lukhanyu
Milcah Lukhanyuhttps://techmoran.com
I cover tech news across Africa. Drop me an email at [email protected]

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