At least 65 widows from three regions in Ghana receive support from ‘Inkuto’; a Finland based Ghanaian company. According to Edem Agbekey-Taylor, the owner of Inkuto, the support is to financially empower the widows in the production of shea butter, which is later exported to the company in Finland. Inkuto uses the raw shea butter in the production of a hand-made skin care products.
Agbekey-Taylor says, the main aim of Inkuto is to create an impact in Ghana and “the choice of supporting the widows is because they are more vulnerable in the society; they usually have more children but no support from anyone.” She says the support gives the women an income and an opportunity to provide a better education for their children. The 65 widows are selected from different communities in the Greater Accra, Northern and Central regions of Ghana.
According to Agbekey-Taylor, the decision to start a business in the production of hand-made skin products happened by accident. She explains that her daughter had skin diseases after birth and treatment from the health center was not able to cure the disease. She later received raw shea butter from her mother in Ghana, which was able to cure the skin disease within two weeks. A nurse from the health center recommended the shea butter to other people with dry skin and other similar skin diseases. This increased the demand on the product and later became a business.
The raw material is produced in Ghana and exported to Finland. Other products are added to enhance the shea butter before it is finally packaged and sold. According to Agbekey-Taylor, the widows are excited to see the finished and packaged product of their raw material and “the expression on their faces is priceless,” and they are motivated to produce more raw materials.
Inkuto is expanding, according to Agbekey-Taylor, and it will be able to support more widows in Ghana in the near future to produce more shea butter to support the growing market of the business. She believes there is a market for Ghanaian products and culture in Finland especially when value is added to the product before it hits the market. She further advised Ghanaians living in Finland to find their passion and work at it to exhibit and promote it.