Nov 7 in Paris (at the @50Partners loft) took place the Fab Africa launch: 100 founders, experts, and influencers attended the meeting, welcome by Odile Roujol and Mialy Ravelo FaB coming from San Francisco, and Haweya Mohamed Afrobytes.
Afrobytes and Fab connect African fashion and BeautyTech entrepreneurs with other international communities.
With the rapid growth of its middle -class, Africa is full of business opportunities, innovation, and investments in the fashion and beauty sectors.
First Panel: Digging into a multi-billion market.
Rokhaya Diallo, Writer, Journalist, Filmmaker, and Podcaster.
Rokhaya begins the meeting with a focus on identity.
“It’s not possible anymore to ignore the diversity of our society and the impact of the diversity on brand management.”
“People from diverse backgrounds don’t only want to be represented. They want to be part of the game and bring their voices, frame the debate in their own words. We need to make sure all voices are heard.”
Illustrating how to gather people with the same interest,
Didier Mandin, co-founded the Natural Hair Academy, which has become the largest salon in Europe dedicated to the beauty and empowerment of people of color.
Didier Mandin is proud of leading “the largest natural hair conference.”
AK-Agency is specialised in ethnic and multicultural marketing. NHA estimates that the number of French Afro Women aged 18+ is nearly 2 Million and that women of color spend approximately 99euros for hair and skin care.
AKA-A agency highlights the Afro-carribean population’s needs and provide tools to integrate these consumers in brands’ strategy.
Didier considers launching the natural hair conference in Africa and America.
Ange Bouable is the founder of Nappyme Official, the first application dedicated to the hair of the Black woman: Nappyme.com.
This is a market which is highly missing relevant tools to meet the multi-needs of Afro hair and there’s a real demand to explore.
Their Saas solution received 3000 sign up requests by hairdressers on his platform when he launched it.
“There is a huge need for services and not only products”.
Second Panel: Designer collaborations with global Brands.
Emmanuelle Courreges is a freelance journalist. She is a reporter, a specialist in social issues, and a beauty editor. Her articles have been published in ELLE, l’ Express Styles, Grazia, Marie-Claire, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Numéro, Madame Figaro, Le Point Afrique or Paris-Match.
Emmanuelle is the founder of Lago54.
She grew up in west Africa that is what explains her passion for African fashion and her eagerness to share it. She was frustrated not to see any cover with fashion designers coming from Africa. She aims to put a light on numerous African fashion designers to discover their hidden talents, not limited to wax and vivid colors. All above this, she has a real desire to change the way the continent is perceived.
She started to share her passion for African fashion. She was frustrated not to see any cover with fashion designers coming from Africa.
Being a journalist helped her to raise awareness with other journalists.
‘Rising African Luxury is eradicating stereotypes’
Aissa Dione, textile designer, has been dedicated for many years to the development of know-how in West Africa, mainly in the field of Textile Arts.
She wants to prove that the economy can grow with the local resources, with people and materials.
Aissa has experienced the evolution of collaborations between African artists and global brands. She shares her experience with luxury brands such as Hermes, Dior, and Louboutin.
‘High quality is our focus.’
‘It’s very important to prove that Africa is able to produce and fabricate on its own’.
Third Panel: Startups, growth and fundings.
Denis Barrier is General Partner working with Cathay Innovation.
They are based in San Francisco, Shanghai, and Paris. Denis Barrier is excited to announce they have launched a new fund with AfricInvest ( a target raise of $168 Million Africa VC fund, series A to C in tech).
Denis reminds all of us that Africa is soon a 2 billion customers market, with a young population, and all people using mobile and apps. He’s particularly delighted to interview 3 amazing multicultural leaders, and female founders. The conversation will be about customer insights, growth and how the founders use digital/internet to touch their customers.
Noelly Michoux. Rys Cosmetiques.
African women can have dischromies, which is not helping to feel confident. As a business profile, Noelly co-founded her company with a team of Researchers to build something about “Melanin science innovation.”
“Women struggle to find their skincare products, finding the one is very difficult. We want to build a transcultural platform, helping to have conversations, feedbacks.”
She’s confident to help them to have customized skincare according to their specific needs.
Kindja Andjou is the CEO & co-founder of Andjou Cosmetics, a Beautytech startup that strives to include the African consumer in the beauty 2.0 conversation. Andjou Cosmetics is an DTC beauty brand directed at African consumers. Based in Brussels.
For Kindja Andjou “It’s hard to find something qualitative in the market. How do you do for your make up ? I ask the girls in my town.”
In her digital strategy, she uses Instagram, but also Whatsapp as key channels in Africa.
Antonia Opiah is the founder of Un-ruly.com
Antonia spent six years working for two of New York City’s top digital advertising agencies, where she created and executed online marketing strategies for blue chip companies like Verizon, Avon and the Dial Corporation. In early 2013 she moved on from advertising to launch Un-ruly.com, which gained national and international attention through its short film, “You Can Touch My Hair”. Antonia is also the founder of Unadorned Media, a media network reaching over 1.5 million women each month, specializing in connecting brands with women through content.
She launched her company 6 years ago based on a huge need: Hair is part of the culture of African women.
“I’m Nigerian, I grew up in the US, I’m living here in Paris. This is the Black experience and we need to share our stories.
Talking about Africa and multiculturalism: “Blackness is usually the African American experience, given the dominance of the media. We build a community, promoting more diverse definition of Blackness.”
During the Question/ Answer a Chinese attendee raised her voice and said to the founders: “What you propose as products and services, and educating us with a great content could touch many women. You empower us. You are strong and could help us to feel confident and find the relevant daily beauty routine. Don’t forget all other women as a target and audience. We’re in!”
All attendees applaud. We can feel a great energy in the room.
Denis ask the 3 founders in any advice to the founders in the room, and if on our side we can help them in any way.
Kindja found business angels in Belgium where she lives and was supported by the Allraise.org non profit (female VCs mentoring and backing young female entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley and now other cities in the US).
She’s currently raising money.
Noelly has invested nearly $ 50K to start her company.
Antonia is also currently raising funds.
CONCLUSION AND WHAT’S NEXT
We were happy to host the first Fab Africa meeting in Paris.
Count on us to keep you informed on what’s next.
We plan to lead meetings in Africa, in the main different local ecosystems, aiming at raising awareness about talent and new business models, and creating bridges between diverse ecosystems.
Let us know if you have anyone interested in being a speaker and share his/her story as an entrepreneur, designer, investor.
Stay tuned, and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter Fab to know more about other meetings in Asia, Europe, and America.
Haweya, Mialy, Odile.
A post written by Haweya Mohamed Afrobytes, Odile Roujol & Mialy Ravelo Fab community.
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If you want to learn more about African markets and be guided in a fast moving ecosystem with local specificities, Afrobytes 👉🏿👉🏾👉🏽http://www.afrobytes.com/
photo Francois Tancre. Eventpixr firstname.lastname@example.org