Entrepreneur Snapshot: CLE Helps Groundnut Paste Producer Balance Business, Household Challenges

When Maïmouna Tamboura-Touré finished her university studies and returned to her hometown of Banfora, Burkina Faso, she came upon a realization: There were plenty of peanuts on the market-but no quality peanut paste.

“My husband is a big consumer of this sauce,” she said of this favorite condiment. “There was peanut paste, but not the best-quality nor a well-packaged one made with the best seeds.”

Thus Wellhôrè was born in 2019. The Burkinabe company specializes in the processing and marketing of local peanut products, particularly paste and oil. It sells groundnut paste in pots of 500 g up to 5 kg to a diversified clientele that includes restaurants, schools, military canteens, and even individual customers.

Incubator support

Though it first began as an informal endeavor, Wellhôrè has since evolved into a simplified joint-stock company that is now receiving incubator support from the Cultivons l’Esprit de l’entreprise (CLE) project. CLE, being implemented by Tanager and a handful of partners, aims to improve the economic prospects of young men and women in Burkina Faso through the promotion of entrepreneurial activities. Wellhôrè is one of 25 companies receiving such specialized support through CLE.

While Mme. Tamboura-Touré holds a degree in marketing and management, the CLE program has allowed her to move beyond the theoretical to receive specialized practical training for her business. Through the incubation, she has been able to more clearly define Wellhôrè’s vision, to structure its financial management with a cash flow plan, and to expand its distribution network through the various commercial activities organized by the project.

Balancing household and business

Recently, as part activities being hosted by the CLE project, Mme. Tamboura-Touré took part in a gender empowerment workshop. Ten of the incubation participants gathered to discuss key concepts on gender. They shared experiences and advice and were able to gain a greater understanding of how gender affects the entrepreneurs’ professional and personal lives.

Mme. Tamboura-Touré, for her part, noted the challenges she faces reconciling her home life and entrepreneurship. “As a female entrepreneur, managing the household and the business is difficult,” she said. “You really have to organize yourself to take care of the house, the children, the husband, then go and take care of what is happening in the company, manage the customers, the production.”

The discussions, she said, highlighted “topics and challenges that we live daily in our companies, and we were able to put them on the table and find solutions to better face them.”

No doubt the training also serves as a good foundation for her future aspirations: “I want to permanently create at least 20 jobs for youth and women, income for a cooperative of women peanut farmers and expand my distribution network across Burkina Faso to improve the lives of at least 1,000 households,” Mme. Tamboura-Touré said.