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Uganda - Africa

Caïo - Nilotica shea butter

Nilotica shea butter is unique to Eastern Africa - and Caïo wants to help spread it across the globe while helping Ugandan women make a profit. BESTSELLER FOUNDATION is providing a loan to accelerate the growth of the business.



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Agriculture & Food production
Project
Caïo - Nilotica shea butter
Location
Uganda Africa
Budget
N/A
Type
Loan
Partner
Caïo
Period
Jan 2017 Jan 2020

Whereas a lot of people know countries in West Africa to be the main growers of shea trees and suppliers of shea butter the trees are also common in Uganda and South Sudan. Except the trees are not exactly the same. The trees found in East Africa are a subspecies of the common (West African) Vitellaria Paradoxa and go by the latin name Vitellaria Nilotica. The butter derived from the nuts of this subspecies is known as Nilotica shea butter – and it has a smoother and creamier texture and a slightly less nutty aroma than the more common shea butter from West Africa.

This has made Nilotica shea butter an intense moisturizing superfood for skin and hair – and it is quickly gaining ground as a skincare and cosmetics product. Caïo is on a mission to upscale the production of Nilotica shea butter and spread the butter across the globe.

This is good news for lovers of natural, organic and effective skincare products – but also for those who harvest and supply Caïo with shea butter; women in Northern Uganda. 

 

 Whereas the shea butter will be marketed with reference to its natural effect on health and beauty – the support for the families will tell a story of joy, prosperity, growth and social change. 

Caïo’s ambition is to build a successful business that can help sustain an equally important goal – economic empowerment, social inclusion and environmental conservation for women and their families in Northern Uganda. Whereas the shea butter will be marketed with reference to its natural effect on health and beauty – the support for the families will tell a story of joy, prosperity, growth and social change.

Caïo will establish hubs across Northern Uganda that will be platforms for trade, access to information and promotion of community involvement in protection and planting of trees. The hubs will be the backbone in providing supplier development services and link buyers to suppliers for products other than shea nuts. The hubs will be key to the protection and the increase in the number of shea trees in the region.

Caïo has introduced bulk Nilotica shea butter as a skin care ingredient available to natural cosmetics makers, and will launch a 100% pure shea butter product in retail in 2017. The value chain is of direct benefit to women in Northern Uganda. 


 It is great to see an investor believe in a truly sustainable business model in which everybody wins 

Caïo was founded by two women who have both lived and worked for years in Uganda – Suzanna Haarbosch and Semine Lykke Brorson – and they see great opportunities arising from partnering with BESTSELLER FOUNDATION.

We are very excited about the scale-up of our work that we will be able to do with the financing from the BESTSELLER FOUNDATION. It is great to see an investor believe in a truly sustainable business model in which everybody wins: female suppliers who get increased income, the environment and consumers who will access an exceptional quality skin care product,” says Semine Lykke Brorson. 

With a convertible loan BESTSELLER FOUNDATION hopes to provide tailwind to Caïo which will help accelerate the expansion of the business and further build on the good results achieved so far. 

BESTSELLER FOUNDATION’s director, Kristian Sloth Petersen, is pleased to add Caïo to the portfolio saying, “Caïo has the potential to make a real and meaningful difference for women in Northern Uganda – and it is obvious that that’s close to the founders’ hearts. A lot of thought and effort has been put into carefully designing a sound business model that is scalable and with social impact at its core. 

He adds that Caïo is a good fit for the foundation and says, "If the determination and professionalism that Suzanna and Semine display is anything to go by the successful roll-out of the business is more or less guaranteed. In short; we have great expectations to this partnership.