Africa’s female consumer market offers untapped potential, according to Ory Okolloh, a partner at venture capital firm Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures. “We are very excited about uncovering opportunities around the female consumer in particular,” she stated during the recent Viva Technology event in Paris.
“I think there is an opportunity around consumer tech … and particularly with women. We are not tapping into where women spend and we are not digitising that,” Okolloh said.
Below are five entrepreneurs who are capitalising on these opportunities in the realms of the beauty and personal care market.
1. Changing the skincare game with Korean technology
Kenya-based skincare company Uncover was founded with the goal of creating products specifically tailored for African women. It leverages technology from South Korea, which is known for its highly advanced skincare industry. Uncover CEO Sneha Mehta highlights the strategy of building a digital community and a knowledge platform as key aspects of the business. In addition to launching a six-step online skincare quiz and offering a teleconsultation service through its e-commerce platform, the company also produces skincare-related educational content which are distributed through its social media channels, blog and email newsletter. Read the full article
2. Danish entrepreneur taps into Kenyan beauty vertical
BeautyClick is a Kenya-based e-commerce business focusing on three product categories: hair, skincare and cosmetics. The company was started in 2016 by Danish-born entrepreneur Jesper Drescher. “I discovered the beauty and fashion vertical was an extremely big market with strong growth. The market’s inefficiencies showed me that it could be up for some disruption, so, I hired a team, built the technology and started the business,” he explains. Read the full article
3. Senegalese entrepreneur seizes opportunity in the make-up industry
Most consumers complain when they cannot find the right products for their needs. Victorine Sarr Awuah started her own business instead, Lyvv Cosmetics. “I was working for the number one cosmetic company in the world and even I could not find the right products for my complexion. There were many people like me across the world who had the same issue. I got frustrated,” says Sarr Awuah. Lyvv Cosmetics are sold by retailers in Senegal, Ghana, Canada, the US and France, with 60% of its consumer base living in Africa and the remaining 40% being the African diaspora. It also ships worldwide via its own website. Read the full article
4. Nigeria: Entrepreneur uses local ingredients to manufacture high-end skincare products
Joycee Awosika started her cosmetics line ORIKI in 2015, using indigenous Nigerian ingredients to make high-quality skincare products. The brand has since expanded to include a contract manufacturing business and a chain of spas. “In the United States there was this increasing awareness people had of the origin of their skincare products, and of wellness in general, and I knew of all of these indigenous ingredients in Nigeria. So, in 2015, I left the energy sector and created ORIKI as a farm-to-skin and wellness brand. I was inspired by shops like Lush and Body Shop which managed to build brands around ingredients like shea butter; taking something very ordinary for West Africans and turning it into something premium,” says Awosika. Read the full article
5. Ghanaian businessman grows skin- and hair-care company into a regional player
Moses Atobrah started Debbies, a Ghana-based skincare and haircare products company. Leveraging his network and industry expertise, Atobrah kickstarted his business from his home kitchen without any high-interest loans, instead funding it with personal savings. With an initial capital of US$12,000, he began manufacturing, and swiftly landed a sizable order of herbal soap through connections. Despite initial setbacks, including an intellectual property dispute, Debbies successfully expanded into various West African markets, and even overseas to Dubai and China, with over 60 products now in its range. Read the full article