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Shea Matters

Shea Matters


Politecnico di Milano – National Champion 2020


A project that trains and develops women entrepreneurs in shea butter in a small village in south-west Mali, creating a market for them in Italy and creating energy access in the village through re-investing profits due to a fair market price.


Women of Bougoula reportedly lack access and information concerning highly profitable markets in Europe. The lack of training on new production processes and reforestation techniques are a threat for current efficiency and future sustainability. Continuous electricity failures and the poor equipment don’t allow high and regular production volumes


In order to solve the above-mentioned concerns, Enactus Polimi created “Shea Matters”. This project aims to harvested and processed the shea by the women of the village, following their traditional process. They are able to create a high quality product, that has different uses in the cosmetic field. How? They pack the shea butter  in small jars and we will buy them at a fair price, to value their hard work and improve their livelihood. They will also obtain different certifications to attest the organic origin and the quality of the product.


The first of the process consists in transporting the shea butter from the village to Dakar in Senegal by truck. The second step is the shipment from Dakar port to Genova where it will be distributed. In Genova they will be sold to wholesalers, that will distribute them to herbalist’s shops, pharmacies or onlineshops. The profits will be reinvested in the village, through long term projects that will have a huge impact on the quality of life of the inhabitants.