Startup Africa had an exciting conversation with Carmen Miral, Founder of Black Khakhela, a Mozambican startup aimed at producign and formulating organic products for hair and skin based on cultural heritage.
For those who do not know you, tell us in few words: who is Carmen and what is Black Khakhela?
My name is Carmen and I am the founder of Black Khakhela, a company that uses cultural heritage for the production and formulation of organic and natural products for skin and hair. We are also focused on bringing knowledge through social networks, for women and men about affordable and good skin and hair care.
What problem are you solving in Africa, in your country or in your community?
We bring a new concept in Mozambique that producing locally in the communities is possible and better. This concept embraces our local roots and responds to the community’s real need for the use of beauty products with local raw materials.
Do you think this is the right time for your startup to solve the problem?
Yes, very right!
We are part of a movement to get back to knowing our culture and our natural hair and skin, and we are also discovering how this is part of our cultural identity.
Does your solution fit the market?
In fact my product and service came at the market’s request, I was simply a social activist and people “demanded” to bring something “ours” from us for “us”.
Tell us more about your team, why are you the best at solving this problem?
The company started in 2016, selling products for skin and hair, we are still in the startup phase . At the moment we are 3, I am the manager of social networks, researcher, thinker and doer of everything (laughs), a graphic designer and a financial manager. I’m in the team formation phase, but I already have partners.
What makes Black your startup different in the market?
Products with cultural heritage, people identify themselves with my product.
How do you measure your success?
I’m not at the stage of success, I’m still setting up and stabilizing my business.
How innovative is your startup / business? (technological / social innovation)
I feel like I brought something that was used in the districts to the urban area, I revisited a concept that says: for something to be good, it does not need to be from abroad.
What is the social impact it has created?
Today I get messages from people who say they are inspired by my work and they are using their natural hair because they feel that it is possible to use products that are cheap and of good quality. Today I take care of a whole families, from father, mother, grandmother and children … tha is a social impact.
How do you think about scaling your startup?
I am still in the phase of implementation and studying scale up models for the concept.
What advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs and new startups?
“Your idea needs to be discussed in a forum that is welcoming and positivistic”