All Articles Tagged "african entrepreneur"
Finding the right skin care products isn’t always easy. And for women of color, that search can get even harder depending on location and skin sensitivity. Business Daily Africa reports that Alice Odera soon realized this the hard way when she was living in New York.
“The beauty industry is worth billions of dollars but only a little part of it is geared towards ethnic minority women,” she said to Business Daily Africa. But Odera didn’t simply make an observation. She decided to do something about it. When every skincare product she tried began to irritate her skin, an interest in beauty and skincare ingredients developed. She nurtured this interest by taking a skincare specialist course. Through her research she learned that skin cancer was on the riser, especially in West Africa, as many of the population used skin bleaches to lighten their skin.
She discovered a ban on hydroquinone and Retinol A in the West that left manufacturers with tons of banned products. So they turned to Africa to sell their goods. After working as a skincare brand manager for a company in Kenya for about two years, she left and decided to start her own business.
“It was a huge risk, but I knew two things, that I was capable and that if I stumbled I had enough courage to get up and keep moving,” Alice said. In August 2010 she launched Beauty Logic Image Management. Unfortunately after opening its doors in September, she was forced to close her business in April 2011 due to lack of profits.
“I do not postpone decision-making or get emotional, no matter how difficult, especially when it comes to my business,” she tells Business Daily Africa.
At the time Odera was also consulting on skin problems such as acne, and offering facials and treatments. That’s when she made an important discovery. “It is this focus that made me discover that the male clients were more responsive to skin treatments than women. Men were a more consistent source of income. They make referrals if they like the results,” she said.
“This is the business direction I want to take, offering services for men only.” In addition to her newfound track as a men’s image consultant, Odera also operates First Impressions, a program that teaches corporate grooming to high school girls. She soon also plans to include boys.
After experiencing a failed business and several ups and downs in her professional track, Odera has mastered the art of business and opportunity. Her new angle is doing so well in fact, that last year it earned her the Pillar Africa Award for “Entrepreneur of the Year.”
(TheLoop21) — Amsale Aberra has designed bridal gowns for some of America’s most well known celebrities. Her client list includes Halle Berry, Selma Hayek and Julia Roberts, just to name a few. Still, her first client nearly 25 years ago was a person she knows very well, herself. Aberra started designing bridal gowns when she couldn’t find a dress to walk down the aisle. So, she designed her own wedding dress that focused on simplicity, clean lines, with a touch of glamour. Aberra’s bridal aesthetic quickly caught on, making her a go-to designer in bridal showrooms across the U.S. A native of Ethiopia, Aberra came to the U.S. to study commercial art. When she took the 18-hour flight to New England, she had no idea she wouldn’t be able to return home. A revolution broke out, leaving her to support herself. Having no money to buy clothes, Aberra made her own and discovered she had a gift of design; an occupation she didn’t even know existed in Ethiopia.
Wedding season is upon us. It’s a charged time period, and that’s not just a reference to the tears of joy and panic attacks – upwards of $80 billion is spent each year on crafting the perfect day. Today The Atlanta Post takes a look at eight black-owned businesses that have managed to distinguish themselves in a crowded industry. From world-renowned dressmaker Amsale Aberra to baker extraordinaire, Margo Lewis, these proprietors are upping the wow factor for weddings.
Amsale Aberra’s business was born of necessity. The year was 1985 and after a few expeditions that yielded nothing but poofs and fussiness, the bride-to-be decided to craft her own gown. Soon thereafter the Ethiopian native took out an ad in a bridal magazine and began to see clients. While her devotees include some of the biggest names in Hollywood – Halle Berry, Julia Roberts and Salma Hayek – she’s also popular among fictional characters. Aberra’s dresses are featured in films Something Borrowed, 27 Dresses, and ABC Series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Brothers and Sisters. Next month the cameras turn on her as she opens up her Madison Avenue boutique to WE TV in a reality series, “Amasale Girls”.
(Inter Press Service) — Deeqo Jibril is always on the go. Whether she is tending to her four children or teaching breast cancer awareness classes to women in her community, the Somali-born community organiser is always up for a new challenge. Recently, she gave up her job as a social worker to focus full time on the Boston-based Somali Community & Cultural Association, a nonprofit Jibril founded a year ago to support Somali-American women. The organisation is located inside a 3,000-square-foot retail building in Dudley Square, the heart of Boston’s African American community. Jibril is also a building co-landlord and currently subleases space for six businesses. ”Most of my tenants are from Africa and the West Indies,” Jibril said. “I started subleasing the building two years ago so other entrepreneurs could have a chance at the American dream.”
by Kweli Wright
Birame Sock has always been a creator and an idea person. Originally from Senegal, she was just a teen living in Niger when she started to flex her skills as an entrepreneur. The very warm temperatures there gave her an idea to make frozen juices in her mother’s freezer and then hire someone to sell them in the streets. A businesswoman was born.
Fast-forward to 2002, and Sock’s next idea was set to up a business for music applications for cellphones called Musicphone. It was one of the earliest mobile-based music sending and recognition services. She sold that company in 2007. Afterwards, Sock developed an idea after seeing friends with enough paper receipts to fill a shopping bag. Instead of carrying receipts around, why not have one central place that could digitally store receipts and do away with waste and increase organization?
Today, this African tech entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of Third Solutions and the MyReceipts platform. We got a chance to chat with Sock during this busy holiday season, to talk about her growing company and the best business advice she can ever give.
TAP: In a nutshell, what does MyReceipts do?
B.S.: We provide consumers with the ability to receive their receipts online and use them for merchandise exchanges, keeping track of product warranties, and keeping records of purchases so they’ll be able to do their taxes more easily.
Besides there being value in getting your receipts online, MyReceipts eliminates paper waste. On the other side of things, merchants [get] to track customer behavior and target customers for marketing purposes.
TAP: How did you begin developing MyReceipts?
After I sold my MusicPhone company in 2007, I launched Third Solutions. As I love to say: “It was started from my bed and sold it from my bed”… because I never worked at a desk. I had been thinking about the concept of keeping receipts online since 2004 and decided to start Third Solutions as the main company.
TAP: Was there a specific thing that made you take MyReceipts from an idea to an actual business?
I started to realize quickly that consumer profiles were very valuable to businesses. We did a few beta tests and launched in Whole Foods in Silver Springs Maryland in late 2009.
TAP: Why might a customer use MyReceipts? Is it available everywhere?
The simple need to use receipts for a return or exchange or doing your taxes. The business traveler may want to use it for [her] expense reports.We’re working hard to add more services to MyReceipts in the near future. For example, if you’re the consumer who needs advice on health and nutrition, you can track the food products you have been purchasing and might be able to keep count of the amount of sugar you’re consuming or vitamin D in the foods that you buy. It’s about what you can do with the information and, at the same time, save on wasting paper.
Also, a number of consumers are looking to use MyReceipts because of the dangerous chemical BPA, which is found in the powdery film on receipt paper. Right now, we’re available at select Whole Foods stores, but can also be used with your existing accounts at Staples. Best Buy, The Home Depot, Office Depot, Wal-Mart and many other stores.
TAP: As a customer, do you simply decline a receipt at the register?
With any participating store, you have the option to decline the paper receipt and just provide your loyalty card or other identifying information. The information is then automatically stored online. For some of the retailers, as we build more relationships you can add the loyalty card and we can add the receipt. For example, if you make a purchase online with Amazon.com, you can then go to myreceipts.com and link the accounts.
(Crain’s) — Ibrahima and Fatima Doukoure started Bebenoir in 2004. At the time, he worked as an account representative at Mediterranean Shipping Co., and she was in advertising sales at Nielsen. The salaries and benefits were welcome, but Mr. Doukoure had always longed to start his own fashion line. At friends’ urging, the couple decided to follow that dream. Their first product was a brown T-shirt with the message “Born In Africa” written across the front. The two kept their corporate jobs and spent weekends “driving around and begging people to buy the shirts,” Ms. Doukoure says.
(CNN) — In the white dominated world of oil and energy, Nigerian-born entrepreneur Kase Lawal has broken all stereotypes, emerging as a key player on the international stage.