International competition aids Nigeria’s beauty industry - CNBC Africa

International competition aids Nigeria’s beauty industry

Western Africa

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“We have 12 centres across the country where make-up artists are being trained to start up their own businesses not just with the skill but also the business behind beauty and preparing them for the growth that is now coming into the industry,” Tara Fela-Durotoye, the CEO and creative director of House of Tara International told CNBC Africa on Thursday.

The beauty products industry in Nigeria has grown rapidly over the last decade with indigenous

players stepping up to grab some of the market share from dominant international brands.

“I think that for every industry there will always be a place for indigenous brands. The international brands are coming to enjoy the interest that we grew as a result of our work in the industry before their entrance. There’s certain qualities that the indigenous brands have that international brands can’t satisfy. There’s a proudly Nigerian drive,” said Fela-Durotoye. 

“Sometimes they buy it because we promote our culture and our language. So many of our products, for example, are named after beauty icons in Africa, they are named after our own culture, our own language and beauty concepts within Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”

She feels that encouraging entrepreneurship allows individuals to grow and create employment for others. This can also be seen through Fela-Durotoye’s 100 Voices Documentary which showcases inspiring and enterprising stories.

“The 100 Voices project is more or less going to the human angle of the business and going beyond the numbers, going to the people who have been part of the growth. We wanted to get their stories in and say tell us how you’ve applied what you’ve learnt within our training, through our training,” she said.

While there are many positives to entrepreneurship, capital availability tends to discourage it. Fela-Durotoye said that it’s reassuring for many that this type of business requires minimal start-up capital.

“As an entrepreneur I know that it took me about eight to nine years of being in business for me to get my first bank loan and I know that that’s a challenge for a lot of people. What is interesting, the amount of capital that is required for this business is very little – 15,000 naira – that’s the lowest you can start up with.”

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