Funlayo Alabi CEO Co-founder Shea Radiance 
We started making products in our kitchen to solve our family’s dry skin and eczema problems and we found Shea Butter to be the ultimate healing balm.  
We create beauty products inspired by the traditional uses of unrefined shea butter to help women achieve beautiful glowing skin at any age.
Our Shea Butter is sourced directly from women-run cooperatives to create  economic access through trade. In West Africa, Shea butter is called “Women’s Gold” because the income women make from processing shea nuts and butter creates a pathway of economic progress for them and their community.
By combining inspiration with science and our unconventional formulation process we create products that allow our customers to feel beautiful and powerful so they can change their world
—Funlayo & Shola Alabi, Cofounders of Shea Radiance

Empowering Through Beauty

We believe that when a woman feels beautiful she can focus her creative energies on changing her world. At Shea Radiance we want to influence the way you care for yourself and others by creating products that make you feel beautiful, nurtured and powerful.

We Can Change the World

Inspired by the African village concept of community, the shared experiences of women and mothers, and the desire to feel empowered, independent and proud is universal. We all play a role in shaping that for the better. We choose to positively affect that global legacy of womanhood through beauty.
 
 

Empowering Women to Empower Women

In West Africa, Shea butter is called “Women’s Gold” because women use the proceeds to feed, clothe, and educate their children. 16 million African women make a living picking Shea nuts and processing Shea butter. 

Our connection with women farmers changed the focus of our business.  We realized that Shea butter had the potential to change women's lives provide them with a pathway to financial independence.

  

Projects and Impact 

Clean cookstoves for shea producers in Oyo State

The Clean Cookstove Project will impact the lives of  Shea producers in Oyo State, Nigeria, by providing them with clean cooking stoves for their personal use and 10 commercial stoves to help increase their production capacity as a working group.

The women I’ve met are not looking for handouts or donated shoes, bars of soap or toothpaste. They want what every women wants, the ability to be economically independent. These clean cookstoves are one of the many ways we can support her in staying healthy while increasing her income.

     

    Other Programs in Northern Nigeria: 

    For this intervention, we worked with over 500 local Shea producers in eight communities in Bosso Local Government areas of Niger State, Nigeria. 

    The program focused on training the women in group formation and Shea nut and butter quality improvement. Training consisted of the following modules:

    1. Shea Sensitization Program
    2. Shea Quality Improvement Training 
    3. Group Formation and Strengthening
    4.  Follow-up Intervention on Group Formation 
    5. Supply of basic Shea equipment 

    Shea Radiance supplied each of the eight communities with the following locally fabricated equipment to help increase production output, relieve physical labor of production and provide a consistent and improved quality of Shea butter: 

    • 16 Shea roasters (2 per community)
    • 8 milling machines
    • 8 crushing machines
    • 8 connecting metal tables
    • 8 Diesel engines

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    PLANNED IMPACT - For Women Shea Collectors and Local Processors

     Improved women’s ability to compete in the Shea market by helping them organize into cooperatives in order to negotiate as a group

    • Provided pre-financing of nuts so that women could buy additional nuts from other communities in order to meet up with our production demands
    • Established a buy-back arrangement so that Shea Radiance purchases Shea butter from local cooperatives thus providing immediate market for their product
    • Provided training and education to improve knowledge of best practices in Shea processing that includes:
    1. Eliminate smoking of nuts
    2. Stop indiscriminate cutting of trees
    3. Promote effective handling and storage of nuts
    4. Improvement on quality of nuts and butter
    5. Better Shea prices at farm gate
    6. Improved ability to handle and maintain Shea equipment

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    Long-Term Vision for Sustainability:

    • Healthcare center and itinerant health practitioner to care for the women and their families
    • Learning center within communities for kindergarten and elementary age children, special focus on girls
    • Literacy center with focus on women
    • Joint project with communities and NGO’s to build better storage facilities for nuts and butter.

     

     

     

    Sustainable Supply Chain

     The higher percentage of Shea Butter in our products also means that we purchase more Shea Butter — which brings more money to women and their communities. This enables women to gain economic power and change the lives of those around them forever. 

    Transforming Communities — Shea Radiance Sustainability Projects

    2015–2016 Shea Health & Safety Project

     Sustainable Supply Chain

     

     

    March 2013 – Thinking Global, Acting Local — Abuja, Nigeria

    In March of 2013, we trained more than 300 small businesses to Think Global and Act Local through a selection of workshops including soap-making, formulation, access to finance, business plan development and marketing. Shea Butter is an incredible gift to women on so many levels — from the Shea producer in the village, to the small-business owner who manufactures products for the local market.

     Volunteers serving

    Watching

     

    2010 – 2012  Beginning of Strategic Collaborations

    In March 2010, I met Petra Jacobi, GIZ program director for Nigeria, on a long bus ride from Bamako, the capital city of Mali, to the Shea-producing communities. We discussed the issue of poverty among women in rural communities, especially in the Shea sector. By the time we were heading back to town, we had talked about the possibilities of a partnership between GIZ and the Shea Radiance brand that would be focused on alleviating poverty in a selected group of communities in Northern Nigeria.

    In November 2011, my husband and I formally met with the GIZ team at their office in Abuja, Nigeria, and mutually agreed to enter into partnership with the following objective: “To help local Shea processors improve income through consistent butter production, marketing and sales, and as a result become competent partners in an improved Shea value chain for export and domestic markets.” Our initial intervention was focused on six communities in Bosso Local Government areas of Niger State, Nigeria, and we later opened it up to eight communities.