3 startups win She Leads Africa beauty accelerator


Ghana’s Skin Gourmet, Nigeria’s Beauty Revolution and South Africa’s FreshMe have been named winners of the 2017 Dark & Lovely x SLA Beauty Accelerator after a demo day last week.

Disrupt Africa reported in August She Leads Africa was to run the Dark and Lovely x SLA Beauty Accelerator, a 10-week entrepreneurship development programme aimed at supporting early-stage entrepreneurs building businesses in the beauty industry.

Five beauty businesses were selected to work with mentors and advisors such as Nneka Keshi, digital director at L’Oreal for Sub-Saharan Africa, Tresor Mpasa-Engwanda, brand director of African Beauty Brands at L’Oreal for Sub-Saharan Africa, and Afua Osei, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of She Leads Africa.

The programme culminated with a demo day last week in Johannesburg, with the five entrepreneurs pitching their businesses to a range of industry stakeholders, media and investors for a chance to win cash prizes.

First place went to Ghanaian premium skincare range Skin Gourmet, while Nigerian digital beauty network Beauty Revolution and South Africa’s FreshMe, which takes brands to salons and brings people to brands in the informal salon market, came second and third respectively.

South Africa’s Beauty on TApp, a mobile application that is a directory for beauty service and product providers, and Ivory Coast’s Black Beauty Fair, a trade show dedicated to the business industry in West Africa, were the other two businesses that pitched.

“It’s been an incredible journey watching these entrepreneurs grow over the past 10 weeks. Each company has transformed into a business with the potential to grow across Africa. Congratulations to all the entrepreneurs who participated in the programme. We look forward to seeing where these businesses will be in a year’s time,” Osei said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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