Entrepreneurship appears to be a fundamental element of economic and social development. In Burkina Faso, women represent 51% of the population,  while their contribution to development through entrepreneurship remains miniscule. In fact of the 51,580 official businesses created in 2012, only 4,527 were managed by women, less than 9%1. 21% of business owners are women, according to the National Economic and Social Development Plan PNDES 2016-2020. The fact that this figure is so low is due to several obstacles: lower levels of literacy, training and qualification, as well as greater difficultly accessing financing.

1National strategy to promote women's entrepreneurship - 2016


Supported project

The L'OCCITANE Foundation started the 'L'OCCITANE pour Elles' programme with objective of promoting and accelerating women's business projects. This programme aims to identify, via a competition, the inspiring and visionary women leading active and creative businesses.  

The second edition of the L'OCCITANE pour Elles competition, launched in June 2019, selected 6 new women entrepreneurs, bringing the number of businesses supported to 15 since the program's inception. The Foundation provides the winners of the competition with personalised support (technical, legal and tax assistance, project visibility, fundraising, personal development, access to suitable workspaces, etc.) in order to boost the growth of their business.


Some figures

The aim is for each edition to support four to six business led by women in Burkina Faso. Winners receive individual support lasting from 6 to 24 months, depending on requirements, so that they can launch their projects and operate independently afterwards 

For the second edition  

Forecast budget 259 840 euros

Goal 6 women supported


1rst edition launched in 2016

Total budget 524 009 euros

Total goal 83 158 women supported

The first edition helped to support the socio-economic development of more than 1300 women across four businesses.Businesses supported as part of this edition:
- La Savonnerie Nununa : production of soaps and cosmetics using shea butter
- Centre Adaja : centre for professional integration and the manufacture of linen clothing
- Agro Déogracias :  juice production using local fruits (Entreprise Agro Déogracias) 
- L’Auxiliaire : training centre for personal assistance professions


Eliénaï, Director General Adaja

"We used to create and deliver clothing on an individual basis, which took a lot of time and didn't make enough money. Now we create collections (using economies of scale) and have shops and a delivery service for large orders. These new strategies mean we suffer less, spend less and earn more on each item of clothing. As part of a programme like this, existing business like ours particularly need specialised training like the kind offered by Le Ghanéen. This training will be very useful in the long term to help us stand out from the competition."

Eliénaï Diendéré