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The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast

Jan 28, 2020

See Full Show Notes here:

Rahama Wright founded Shea Yeleen (a health and beauty company dedicated to empowering women in West Africa and the United States through the production, sale, and use of shea butter products) about 15 years ago in 2005. However, since then, Shea Yeleen has certainly taken a significantly different shape from how it originally was incepted. What originally started as a nonprofit has since transformed into a social enterprise business model. Rahama made this transition about six years ago. From that turning point, you can now find their shea butter in Whole Foods and MGM Resorts, and they have been featured in O, The Washington Post, MSNBC, and more. 

It was excellent to hear Rahama share her truthful and insightful reflections on what has contributed to her staying power and her endurance in what can be an experience filled with such trials and tribulations, and what lessons she has extracted from this 15-year journey. We tend to glorify these kinds of experiences, but we found that Rahama was more honest than most in discussing both the positive and negative aspects of her journey with this company. And that’s what we loved so much about our conversation with her.

In this episode, we discuss Shea Yeleen’s beginnings as a nonprofit and how and why Rahama made the decision to convert the business into a social impact for-profit model instead; her honest reflections on this intense 15-year journey of entrepreneurship she’s been on; and some wise tips on both traveling and staying power as a business.