What inspired you to start your business? 

The seeds of FarmSahel were planted in 2018 when I visited a farm in the Amish Country in Pennsylvania. Growing up in Fara, a typical village in the southwestern part of Burkina Faso, I witnessed the struggles rural women go through to take care of their families. 80% of rural women in Burkina Faso rely on traditional farming to feed their families, and they face more challenges than men do.

The revenue they make from farming is not enough to take care of their families, leaving them to find other alternatives to make money, which reduces the time they spend on their farms.

Humbled by the generous support of nonprofits towards underserved communities like the one I grew up in, I wanted to become part of this mission and decided to focus my career working for nonprofits and empowering women.

I founded FarmSahel in 2019 to unlock the potential of women to achieve economic freedom through agribusiness. With the provision of seeds, fertilizers, and repurposed farm equipment, as well as training on best agricultural practices and cooperative organizing, FarmSahel helps women farmers increase their yields and ensure improved earnings in the marketplace.

What influenced you to seek help from SCORE? 

I knew about SCORE because I used its mentors in the past for an e-commerce store, I was running; However, I did not know that SCORE advises nonprofit clients until a friend told me about it. I need mentors to provide me with advice and guidance to help me figure out what to do and how to achieve my goals. I have been learning a lot from my SCORE mentors.

How SCORE helped. 

I’ve learned about more resources to help with my grant writing and volunteer seeking efforts. I was also able to connect with other mentors with other skill sets.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 
  • Be Passionate.
  • Start while you are still employed.
  • Don't do it alone and don't be afraid to ask for help (a mentor to guide you)
  • Do your research and write a Business Plan.
  • Understand your target customers and existing market.