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The Dignity of Income

[POSTED ON: 30th April 2021]

Hear from Gifty Serbeh-Dunn, our co-founder, about how Baraka started and its founding values. “Income not charity…” Those words and that theme, repeated frequently by women in communities where I grew up, really formed the foundation for Baraka. I left Ghana as a teenager to go to school in Canada. Whenever I went home, I would always try to bring… [read more]

Baraka Manifesto: Why Does Baraka Exist?

[POSTED ON: 19th March 2021]

This isn’t some artsy/fartsy, airy/fairy rhetorical question. It is critical. If I can’t answer it, then, to be frank, Baraka doesn’t have a reason to exist. Some may say that Baraka and other companies exist to make a profit. It isn’t so simple. Profit is critical, without it you have no fuel to let you fulfill your purpose – but… [read more]

COVID and Baraka Inventory

[POSTED ON: 11th March 2021]

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on shipping containers from Ghana to North America and, unfortunately, it has put us out of stock on some sizes of cocoa butter and coconut oil until about mid-April. Our apologies. We know you depend on us and we always want to be there for you.  Unfortunately, we were blindsided by delays in container shipping that started… [read more]

Know Your Shea

[POSTED ON: 17th February 2021]

Shea butter is seen by many as a miracle ingredient in soaps and skincare products, and it is. But it can be confusing too. There are a few ‘definitive’ classifications and grading systems, most developed by one group or another and lacking a generally accepted standardization. Many terms are used to describe shea butter and many who sell it don’t… [read more]

Baraka in 2020

[POSTED ON: 1st February 2021]

“Write a few words about what 2020 was like for Baraka”  My mind literally exploded when I was asked to do that. 2020 – What a year! For Baraka! For the hard-working women and families who produce Baraka Butters and Oils, for our customers and our community, our families and for this planet we call home. It is easy to focus… [read more]

Baraka: The Bridge that Connects

[POSTED ON: 4th August 2020]

Baraka is privileged to be the bridge that connects the production of hard-working Ghanaian women to the amazing products you make with their oils and butters and, through you, to your customers and family who use your products We have intentionally created a supply chain with impact, impact that stretches from hard-working women in rural Ghana to your customers who… [read more]

Why does Baraka carry Palm Oil?

[POSTED ON: 18th July 2020]

I’m often asked this question.  And I appreciate it.  It shows you care about where your ingredients come from and that is important.  We take a lot of pride in bringing products to you that have positive social and environmental impacts – and are thrilled that we have a customer base (and that our customers have a customer base) where… [read more]

Celebrating Eid/Sallah – Breaking the Fast with Chief

[POSTED ON: 28th June 2020]

I try every year to be in northern Ghana at the end of Ramadan.  I enjoy the love, joy and celebration that permeates this special time, and we always try to have special treats for the children. In this video I am breaking the Fast with the Chief, sharing traditional food with them in a centuries old ritual. EID/Sallah, the… [read more]

Kombo Butter and Baraka Impact Interview

[POSTED ON: 28th June 2020]

Learn how Baraka has partnered with NCRC (Nature Conservation Research Centre) to develop the Kombo Nut as an income generation and ecosystem conservation activity for women and families in Ghanaian villages. Kombo Butter, which has amazing pain relief and other natural qualities, is made from the seed/nut of the Kombo Tree.  The Kombo Tree grows naturally in cocoa forests, producing… [read more]

Baraka Shea Butter creates income opportunities for Upper West women

[POSTED ON: 15th May 2020]

A GNA Feature by D.I. Laary, GNA GENESIS Wa, Oct 20, GNA – Baraka Shea Butter, a small business organisation operating in the Upper West Region, has created sustainable income opportunities for over 400 families and women groups in remote rural communities to improve their social and economic conditions.  In these communities, women are often the primary breadwinners for their… [read more]

Shea Forests Efficiently Sequester Carbon

[POSTED ON: 1st May 2020]

The shea butter industry not only has a positive impact on women and families throughout Ghana, and on your skin and hair when you use products made from it. The Shea Forest has proven to be very efficient at fixing carbon in the soil, helping to reduce global CO2 levels.  The Global Shea Alliance (of which Baraka is part) along… [read more]

Sell More, Give More and Impact More

[POSTED ON: 9th October 2019]

Here is a simple strategy to help you sell more products and have happier customers as we enter the Christmas selling season. Let your customers know that when they buy your products made with Baraka Shea Butter they are Giving the Gift of Dignified Income to hard-working women in northern Ghana. They already know that when they buy from you… [read more]

How To Guide for Impacting Above Your Size

[POSTED ON: 7th August 2019]

You can have your impact and profit too! You want to support your community and society and you need your business to be profitable. Learn how… Note, this was originally published in Making Soap Magazine, July 2019 Community impact and operating with high social and environmental standards is ingrained in the hand-made soap and cosmetics sector. I think it comes… [read more]

Asungtaaba Basket Group Sharing Fund

[POSTED ON: 11th July 2019]

Women self-organize into work and support groups at the community level throughout northern Ghana and, indeed, in many other areas of the world. These groups fulfill important social, economic and community functions and have evolved a way or working, organizing and collaborating over generations. Unfortunately, they are too often ‘improved’ by well-meaning outsiders and formal structures and procedures put in… [read more]

Tabiasi Women’s Enterprise Centre

[POSTED ON: 20th June 2019]

A live walkthrough of the Tabiasu Women’s Enterprise Centre with Alfred Akolgo, Baraka’s Country Manager. You can see the women using the facility for the preparation of Shea Nuts (seeds) as we discuss the centre, why we built it, how it will be used and the impact it is already having.

[read more]

Baraka Coconut Oil: The Origin Story!

[POSTED ON: 5th June 2019]

Community sourced, fair trade, organic, raw, virgin coconut oil. Direct from Ghana to you. IT’S THE RELATIONSHIP, NOT THE TRANSACTION For years I have been asked why we don’t carry other products. I didn’t really think about it before, but now that we are carrying coconut oil I realize what was holding me back. I didn’t know how to organize… [read more]

A World Environment Day Reminder about Impact Ventures

[POSTED ON: 5th June 2019]

Baraka Shea Butter is featured as an Impact Venture in this World Environment Day article

The world has changed. The path to profitability has shifted and businesses that strategically integrate social value, environmental stewardship and shareholder value are being rewarded. As today is World Environment Day, I’d like to remind you of the value of impact ventures (also known as social enterprises) which successfully align social impact, environmental stewardship and shareholder value – along with operational efficiency.

[read more]

Impact Ventures: Featuring Baraka Shea Butter

[POSTED ON: 3rd June 2019]

The world has changed. Impact Ventures have a competitive advantage that will continue to grow. Baraka is an Impact Venture that actively helps customer achieve this result. The path to profitability has shifted, rewarding those companies that strategically integrate social value, environmental stewardship and shareholder value in ways that create operational efficiency and competitive advantage. Businesses of all types face… [read more]

Unrefined and Raw Doesn’t Always Mean Pure

[POSTED ON: 7th May 2019]

Know your Shea Butter Better: Words are confusing…

Handcrafted and traditionally made. Those words will lead you to shea butter that has all the natural goodness and maximizes the benefits to the hardworking women who make it. Raw and unrefined can lead you to strange places in the shea butter world.

Did you know that raw and unrefined are often used to describe industrially processed and chemically extracted shea butter?

[read more]

Community Impact: A Sustainable Approach (Tabiasi Women’s Enterprise Centre)

[POSTED ON: 24th April 2019]

All community impact is not created equal. Charity and philanthropy are too often one and done, with minimal sustainable impact. Far better to create sustainable and replicable impact by aligning business, social and environmental impact, and by fostering local ownership and engagement. It is often much easier just to give something, bask in the appreciation and adoration of the recipient… [read more]

Abuja Conversation – Int Women’s Day, 2018

[POSTED ON: 2nd April 2019]

The Better Life for Rural African Women and the United Nations Development Program hosted a major event in Abuja, Nigeria to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018. This documentary discusses the event and key issues,

[read more]

Guided Tour of the new Baraka Website

[POSTED ON: 20th March 2019]

We are marching into March with a new website!  So exciting. Thanks to all of you that beta-tested it and thanks to our team who made it happen. It was the encouragement from many of you that led us to totally redoing the website.  So many of you said that our old site just wasn’t telling the story of Baraka… [read more]

More for All | Less for None:

[POSTED ON: 11th February 2019]

The Baraka Way More for all, less for none. You can have your cake, and eat it too. The Baraka value chain creates more value for the hard-working women who make Baraka Shea Butter and uses that to create more value for the amazing crafters who turn it into products that are so valuable for their customers. I’m sitting in… [read more]

2019, a New Year. A New Opportunity?

[POSTED ON: 23rd January 2019]


Make 2019 your year of opportunity

How will your 2019 end? 
What is important for you this year?  Personally?  For your business?  For your community?  Why is it important? 
What steps can you take to make your important happen?

[read more]


[POSTED ON: 31st December 2018]

Make 2019 Your Year of Purpose

Let #Purpose drive #profit, #impact, #results and sustainable competitive advantage.  And make your business and work more fun and enjoyable; for you, for your customers and your team.

[read more]


[POSTED ON: 24th December 2018]

It is Christmas Time. Let’s Celebrate it   Merry Christmas from all of us at the Baraka Shea Butter family.  Happy Holidays too, but, to be honest, I believe in calling holidays by their name and enjoying the celebration with respect, tolerance and inclusion.  So, IT IS MERRY CHRISTMAS On Muslim Holy Days I enjoy being greeted by Eid Mubarak… [read more]

Giving Back: Pragmatic Ideas for Impact

[POSTED ON: 5th December 2018]

“How can I support my community and important causes? My business is small, and I can’t afford to constantly donate.”

Those of us in the handcrafted soap and cosmetics space and other small businesses struggle with this all the time. We believe that businesses of all types and sizes should contribute to the community good.

[read more]

DIY Dynamo: Fuller Wallet, Healthier Skin, and Fun too!

[POSTED ON: 21st November 2018]

DIY Dynamo is you? Don’t read further if your wallet is too full, your skin too healthy and you never struggle with what gifts to give. OK, so you want more.  DIY skincare products made with pure, unrefined Baraka Shea Butter can save you money and make your skin and hair super happy.  They are easy and fun to create, make… [read more]

Shea Butter is Doubly Amazing!

[POSTED ON: 18th November 2018]

Shea Butter: Double Down for impact, benefit and more.  Happy, healthy skin AND healthy, happy families! Skin Impact AND Human Impact!  Amazing properties, and so much impact. Unrefined shea butter has amazing skin care properties.  A quick google search will yield all sorts of claims and testimonials about its healing, regenerative and restorative qualities.  A look at some past blogs including… [read more]

The True Meaning of ‘Natural’ … and More!

[POSTED ON: 12th September 2018]

We hear so many terms thrown around the skincare industry, the most popular and ‘trendy’ being NATURAL. But what exactly does it mean, and how regulated are these ‘natural’ skincare products? The term natural is NOT actually regulated, and in fact, can have a multitude of definitions. Both companies and consumers have different standards of what natural means to them and… [read more]

Transparency, Emerging Social Media Issue

[POSTED ON: 29th August 2018]

How authentic and transparent is your brand and your interests? Transparency is becoming a big issue. Important for customers, stakeholders and therefore for business of all types. There is an interesting report in Social Media Today on the Importance of transparency in brand communications on social media. The article resonated with a lot of what I advise and write on in my role… [read more]

Baraka’ing Through Summer

[POSTED ON: 1st August 2018]

Wandering through summer information about our efforts to help our customers sell more, do more and impact more. I’m excited about the impact we (all of us, you too) are having as we build a business and value-chain that has positive impact from the women who make Baraka Shea Butter, those of you who make incredible products with it, and… [read more]

Value Chains that Create Value: Your Purchase Makes a Difference

[POSTED ON: 4th July 2018]

Baraka was founded on the belief that we could organize a business value chain that would create benefit all the way along, from the producers through to our end users, and would do it in a way that would benefit all of us, including the founders and operators of Baraka. I think we are getting there. Not perfect by a… [read more]

I’m Off To Kperisi, Ghana for a Month

[POSTED ON: 6th June 2018]

And I’m off… to Kperisi.   As you are reading this I am just arriving in the community where Baraka Shea Butter is made. And for a bit longer than normal – so be ready for a blizzard of posts and photos…from my hands to your screen…   (OK, not as exciting as getting the Kperisi Women’s amazing Baraka Shea Butter direct… [read more]

Happy New Year from Baraka!

[POSTED ON: 5th January 2015]

I hope that you all had a great Christmas season and that the New Year is off to a wonderful start. I’m hoping for more love, joy and adventure in 2015. As the year starts I am feeling a bit like I am leading a double life so I thought I’d share a bit about my ‘other hat’ with my… [read more]

Customer Question: Are Baraka Baskets “Fair Trade”?

[POSTED ON: 9th December 2014]

Recently, one of our customers contacted us questioning us about our Bolga Baskets and whether they are Fair Trade. Because we thought you might be interested, here is our response…  Hi and thanks so much for your call. I really appreciate it. It always amazes me to see the claims that some make (that only one basket company in Ghana… [read more]

Great time, Great Memories

[POSTED ON: 19th November 2014]

I’m in Ghana’s capital city of Accra today and thinking back to mid-October last year when I was able to take a couple of days and head up to Bolgatanga in Ghana’s Upper East Region and go back out to meet with the basket making groups that I had met in early September. In September I went out with my… [read more]

School supplies for Kperisi

[POSTED ON: 12th November 2014]

Yesterday I was in the Staples Store in Duncan, BC, near where I live and I saw they had a sale on backpacks and pens.  Actually it was a discount bin full of them. The management at the local Staples has always been really supportive of our efforts to support children and education in Ghana so I approached them about… [read more]

Baraka Shea Butter and Ebola

[POSTED ON: 13th October 2014]

First, thank you to everyone who has contacted us with concern for the women, families and communities where Baraka Shea Butter is made. Fortunately, there has NOT yet been a case of Ebola in Ghana. Some have asked about the danger of Ebola and Baraka Shea Butter. There is absolutely ZERO RISK. 1. There are no incidences of Ebola in… [read more]

Have You Heard of The Fair Pages?

[POSTED ON: 1st August 2014]

The Social Online Revolution: Creating a more FAIR world one click at a time! The Fair Pages is a social search index for social good. We are proud and honoured to be listed in a directory that is a unique user-ranked social search index for conscious consumers and companies, who want to make a FAIR difference for people, animals and the environment. The… [read more]

Our Customers are MOST Important!

[POSTED ON: 8th July 2014]

Recently, we came across an article that really underscored how we feel about customer service.  We believe that a successful business is one that serves all ends of the value chain.  From the people and organizations that supply it with goods and services through to the people and organizations that pay it money to get whatever the business is selling…. [read more]

Social Good and Family Life

[POSTED ON: 6th June 2014]

At Baraka Supplies, we believe in social good. If we all work together, we can help one another and everyone will benefit. In the past month, one of our co-founders at Baraka Supplies, Wayne Dunn has flown 50,000 miles, has crossed 50+ times zones, spent 7 nights on air planes, and worked long hours every day! BUT all for social good!… [read more]

Baraka Buys Bolga Baskets

[POSTED ON: 13th May 2014]

In about 2010 we were approached by a wonderful local business, The Community Farm Store to supply them with Bolga Baskets from Ghana. They were already a Shea Butter client and great friends, and we were already importing Shea Butter from northern Ghana so it all made sense. Little did we know the learning and adventure that it would take us on!!… [read more]

The Women of Kperisi, Ghana

[POSTED ON: 6th May 2014]

I just read my first blog post. Maybe I came out of it with my foot in my mouth? Or close? So much of what Baraka Supplies does and is about has to do with women and families and communities. And yet when I look at my first blog post, the pictures were about me and men! Oops! This time I’ll share a… [read more]

Jumping In Keyboard First

[POSTED ON: 3rd May 2014]

Eyes squinted, heart pumping, fear rising… That’s how I feel as I jump into the world of blogging and online content. I’m much more comfortable figuring out business and development problems or helping communities to identify opportunities. But, I realize that if I am to do my best to fulfil the mission that drove the creation Baraka Supplies then I… [read more]

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