By Samuel Ouma & Ajong Mbapndah
Violet Awo Amoabeng, Founder and CEO of Skin Gourmet Limited in Ghana, is a high energy super hopeful entrepreneur who has always been passionate about people and has attained Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Business administration – specializing in marketing, supply chain management and accounting.
In 2014, Violet created Skin Gourmet with GHS 145 (USD 45.00). Skin Gourmet is now distributed in over 17 different countries and Violet has been featured in Glitz and EMY Magazine as an emerging industry leader. Skin Gourmet has been featured in Forbes, Elle, Pop Sugar and Indian Cosmopolitan for an Editor’s Best Product Pick Award.
Thousands of businesses applied for the 2021 Africa’s Business Heroes competition, which will award a USD 1.5 million grant fund to the winners. She is one of nine ladies who made it to the Top 20 finalists and is now aiming for the Top 10 which will be announced. ABH is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program in Africa to support entrepreneurs, with the goal of identifying, supporting, and inspiring the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their communities, working to solve the most pressing problems, and creating a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.
What inspired you to apply for the ABH competition?
I applied to the ABH Competition because it offers the opportunity to grow Skin Gourmet through mentorship from industry experts and potential access to reasonable debt financing.
How did you feel being selected among the ABH 2021 Top 20 outstanding entrepreneurs and how have you managed to make this far in a tight continent-wide competition?
To be selected as a Top 20 ABH finalist makes me feel grateful and extremely hopeful. It also motivates me to keep going, to keep trying, to keep working because help is on the way. How did I make it this far? I don’t believe that I managed to make it this far, I believe we (the Skin Gourmet Team) made it here because we believe in our vision.
What has the ABH competition meant for you and your business so far?
So far, this competition has opened up so many more opportunities for Skin Gourmet. We have been introduced to solutions and strategies we did not even know were at our disposal. This competition has given us exposure and business knowledge through mentorship that most would not have access to. We are extremely grateful.
What are your impressions about the ABH and how it helps in the growth of entrepreneurship in Africa?
I am extremely fascinated with this competition – who knew you could learn so much in so little time? The competition teaches us how to fish – it helps us to help ourselves and I believe that is the answer to real growth in Africa = A true Africa beyond aid.
What will you do if selected in the final 10 and top winners?
First, I’ll thank God.
Then I’m going to dance and shout for about 5 minutes (maybe more).
Then I’ll get right back to work.
How will the prize change your business operations?
It will help us take over the world by increasing our export capacity, brand awareness and compliance.
What do you think is the motivation behind the fast increasing female entrepreneurship across Africa?
I believe the number of female entrepreneurs is increasing throughout Africa because gender equality in Africa is on the rise thanks to education and changes in the African mentality about the role of women in the society. Plus, African girls now have more role models who confirm their dreams that they too can be great.
Any advice to budding female entrepreneurs in your country and in Africa especially at a time when the pandemic has left many African economies struggling?
“Keep walking – every challenge is just an opportunity to improve. Do not give up – adapt.”