Dark and Lovely Beauty Accelerator – Terms and Conditions

1. The Promoters for The Dark and Lovely x SLA Beauty Accelerator (“the Program”) are Devorent Nigeria Limited (“She Leads Africa “) and L’Oreal South Africa (Proprietary) Limited  (“Dark and Lovely Africa”) (collectively, “the organisers”).

2. The 2018 Dark and Lovely x SLA Beauty Accelerator (the“Program”) begins on 31 August 2018 and ends on 8 December 2018 (“Program Period”).

2.1 The Program consists of 3 (three) phases, namely:

2.1.1 The Application Phase: 31  August 2018 – 21 September 2018;

2.1.2 The Judging Phase: 24 September 2018 – 25 September 2018

2.1.3 The Program Phase: 1 October 2018 – 8 December 2018

3. By participating, all participants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions and the decisions of the Judges and/or Organisers, shall be binding and final on all matters relating to this Program.




4.1 Employees, board and committee members of the Organisers, their respective affiliates in respect of the Program, their parent companies and subsidiaries, agents, distributors, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and the immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each of the foregoing are not eligible to be nominated for the Program.

4.2 Participants who wish to enter the Program (“Participants”) must be residents of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria or South Africa who are in possession of a valid identity document. Businesses must have at least one woman aged 18-35 as a shareholder or owner, have been in operation for less than 3 years and have received no more than $50,000 in total investment;

4.2.1 must submit their application at www.sheleadsafrica.org/beauty;

4.2.2 complete, accept the terms and conditions and submit the application form at the abovementioned website by no later than 11.59pm WAT on 14 September 2018 (the Closing Date). Entries received after the Closing Date will not be counted.  This also includes submission of the business’ pitch deck.

4.2.3 Applicants may apply for themselves or apply for someone else, provided that the Applicant has obtained valid consent from the Participant;

4.2.4 One entry per person. Bulk, automatically generated or third party entries are void.

4.2.5 Participants who are selected as Finalists must be able to supply up to three (3) references who can be contacted to verify the scope and extent of the Participant’s activities. References should be persons familiar with the business activities for which the application is made and should not include the Participant, or any person related to the Participant i.e. family members.

4.2.6 Potential nominees are subject to verification of eligibility and identity, which may include a background check and completion of any documentation required by the Sponsor to complete such background check, the results of which must be completely satisfactory as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.

4.2.7 Entries which are unclear, incomplete, and illegible or contain errors will be declared invalid.




5.1 The selection will take place in two phases, namely She Leads Africa will narrow down the applications to the top 20 and then together with Dark and Lovely the top five will be selected. The judging will based on objective judging criteria listed below

5.1.1 Solution (20%): Is the company’s product solving a major problem or pain point for the customer? How well does the solution address the problem? Assessment of the proof of concept and product/market fit.

5.1.2 Team (20%): Assessing the team’s competencies, is this the best team to solve the problem the business is attempting to be the solution for.

5.1.3 Traction (15%): Is there proof of existing customers and revenue generated to date

5.1.4 Scalability (15%): Does the business demonstrate a significant capacity for future growth

5.1.5 Market size (10%): Is there a large addressable market for the company’s product?

5.1.6 Clear growth strategy (10%): Feasibility of the milestones identified by the company for the next 6 months

5.1.7 Unique Value (10%): The company’s product’s edge over other similar products

5.2 The organisers will contact the Selected Participants via e-mail by 20 September 2018. Should the selected participant not be contactable by the organisers after three attempts and by 12h00 WAT on 22 September 2018, the Selected Participants shall forfeit the program and the organisers will be entitled to select a different Selected Participant on the same conditions, except that the organisers will make only one attempt to contact each further name selected until Selected Participants are confirmed.

5. 3 Selection decisions will be communicated via e-mail by 01 October 2018.

5.4 All decisions of the Organisers regarding the Program are final and binding on all Participants and selection of all Winners is within the sole discretion of the Sponsor

5.5 If selected, Participants are required to participate and fully attend every part of the program, this includes but is not limited to; the week long boot camp in Johannesburg, weekly check-in calls, bi-weekly mentorship calls, completion of tasks given by the Organisers, final pitch week and Demo Day.

5.6 Should the entrant be selected to participate in the program, she undertakes to expeditiously provide to the organisers such information as may be required in order to establish her identity and eligibility to enter the competition, and to facilitate the coordinating of the prize.

5.7 The Selected Participants agree to keep all details they acquire during this Competition private and confidential until such time as the Organisers advise that they may disclose any such details.

5.8 Each entrant agrees and consents that the Organisers may run any background checks it deems necessary in relation to the Competition.

5.9 Selection for the program  is non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives to the program in whole or in part.


6.1 Acceptance of application constitutes the Participant’s’ consent to give the Organisers and its affiliates a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, create derivative works from, and display such applications, which includes but is not limited to the Participants images, videos, voice recordings, personal information submitted , the Participants application in whole or in part, on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate it into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional or marketing purposes.

6.2 If requested, the Participant will sign any documentation that may be required by the Organisers in respect of the Program.

6.3 The Organizer will not be responsible for lost, late, stolen,damaged, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, garbled, delayed or misdirected applications; all of which will be void.



7.1 The Program is a 10 week accelerator program led by the She Leads Africa and Dark and Lovely team. Participants will spend 10 weeks with support to help grow and scale their businesses. The top three of participants will receive a $5000, $3000, and $1000 cash prize respectively.

7.2 Each Selected Participant must be available to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa or Nairobi, Kenya during the following dates:

7.2.1 The Business Bootcamp week from 1 October – 5 October 2018, and

7.2.2. The Pitch Week and Demo Day from  3 December – 8 December 2018.

7.2.3. Participants who require a visa for travel will be provided with an official visa invitation letter and will be reimbursed for their expenses upon submission of proper documentation.

7.3 Each Selected Participant must be available at the decided weekly check-in times between 8 October – 30 November 2018. Weekly times will be agreed upon once the program commences.

7.4 Each Selected Participant consents and agrees that they will, if requested by the Organisers, make themselves exclusively available for any publicity and promotion at venues, dates and times designated by the Organisers.

7.5 Neither the Organisers nor any other person or party associated with the Competition shall be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever suffered (including, but not limited to, direct, indirect and/or consequential loss) or personal injury suffered or sustained in connection with either participation in the Program or with any Prize or any part of it.



8.1 The Organisers reserve the right at any time to cancel, modify or supersede the Program (including altering prizes) if, in our sole discretion, a competition is not capable of being conducted as specified. The Organisers reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal value in the event that circumstances beyond their control make this unavoidable.

8.2 The 1st (first), 2nd (second) and 3rd (third) place Winners will each receive a $5000, $3000, and $1000 cash prize respectively in the Winner’s name to their accredited business (“the award recipient”).

8.3 The final selection of the recipient of the award shall be the Organizer’s’ sole discretion.

8.4 The Award shall not be used to satisfy a binding pledge or other legal obligation of the Honorees or any third party.

8.5 The Organizers’ shall provide the following for the Selected Participants:

8.5.1 For those residing outside of the host city, a round trip economy class airfare to and from major airport nearest the Selected Participants city of residence to the most convenient airport (if Selected Participant’s city of residence is within 250km of the ceremony location, alternate transportation may be provided); and

8.5.2 standard hotel accommodations, which is one room double occupancy in city where program will be held.

8.5.3 ground transportation, 2 pre-planned meals per day will be provided.

8.6 Miscellaneous expenses (internet access and phone calls) and all other costs and expenses not mentioned above are the sole responsibility of the Honorees.

8.7 Without in any way limiting the foregoing, all taxes on the award, if any, are the sole responsibility of Winners.

8.8 Organisers recommend that the Honorees consult a tax advisor regarding any tax consequences relating to acceptance of the award. The award donation is not transferable.



9.1 The Organiser is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered, or garbled submissions or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled,

scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Program, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the

Program, the processing or judging of submissions, the

announcement of the award donation(s).

9.2 The Organiser will not be held responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Program.

9.3 The Organiser is not responsible for injury or damage to any person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Program or downloading materials from or use of the supplied content.

9.4 Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Program or content, who act in an disruptive manner or who are in violation of these Terms and Conditions, as solely determined by Organizer, will be disqualified and all associated submissions will be void.

9.5 Should any portion of the Program be in the Organisers’ sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Organisers, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or entry of submissions, the Organisers reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Program and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential participants from all eligible, non-suspect submissions received prior to action taken using the judging procedure outlined above.





The Program shall be governed by the laws of the Republic of South Africa. The Nominee consents to the jurisdiction of the South Gauteng High Court.



By participating, each participant agrees:

11.1 to release, discharge and hold harmless THE Organisers, its respective parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and Program agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participant’s participation in the Program or any Program related activity or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the award donation (including any travel or activity related thereto);

11.3 The Organisers reserves the right to modify and/or edit any nomination copy for the purpose of press releases and for feature stories in publications and online.

11.4 By participating in the Program, selected participants acknowledge and agree that publication of a nomination or story on www.sheleadsafrica.org or www.darkandlovely.co.za website or in any other media during the submission period in no way indicates that a nomination has been selected to receive an award.

11.5 The Participant, and Winner may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability, and where legally permissible, Publicity Release. Nominee may be disqualified (at the absolute discretion of Organiser) if any such documentation is not received within the time period requested in correspondence from the Organiser. The award may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected, if a notification letter is returned as undeliverable or potential Winner cannot be contacted.

11.6 In the event that a selected Winner declines to accept the award and the Organiser is unable to get a hold of the Participant or Winner, an alternate Winner may be selected.

11.7 Organiser reserves the right to award fewer than three (3) Winner Awards, if the nominations received are not of acceptable quality.

11.8 By submitting a completed nomination form, Participant represents and warrants to the Organiser that:

(1) any photographs submitted depict the Participant’s project only;

(2) Submission is Participant’s original work;

(3) No application materials infringe upon or violate, nor will they infringe upon or violate, the rights of any third party. If application materials include likenesses of third parties or contain elements not owned by the participant (such as, but not limited

to, company or team logos), Participant must provide legal releases for such use in a

form satisfactory to the judges and the Organiser, or the affected application will be disqualified.

11.9 Organiser reserves the right to disqualify any applicants containing photograph and/or images of third parties or any third party materials.

11.10 By accepting the title of Participant and/or Winner and the award, the Winners agree to the following including but not limited to:

  1. articles to be featured on the website and/or and other medias and platforms

  2. reporting metrics back to Sponsor showing impact of award, best practices and poll questions that may be featured on the website and social media postings supporting the program and helping with the next year’s call for nominations.



12.1        “Personal Information” is defined in section 1 of the Protection of Personal Information Act No. 4 of 2013 (“POPI”).

The Sponsor will collect, store and use Personal Information of the Participant, as provided by the Participant in the application form for the purposes of the Program.

12.2        Consent

12.2.1 By participating in the Program , you consent to:

12.2.2 The collection, collation, processing, and use of your Personal Information which may include but is not limited to full name, physical address, cellular and/or telephone numbers, email address, age and gender.

12.2.3 The possible transfer of the Participant’s Personal Information to the following countries outside of South Africa: Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.

12.2.4 The disclosure of the Participant’s Personal Information to the following entities that are related to the Sponsor: Dark and Lovely – L’Oreal and She Leads Africa.

12.2.5 That the Participant’s Personal Information may be retained by the Sponsor for a period of two years, subject to your rights to have the Personal Information removed.

12.2.5 Receiving promotional and/or marketing material and information in any form, which the Participant can opt out of at any time.

12.3 All queries in connection with the Program should be directed to the Organisers info email samira@sheleadsafrica.org

Jobs – Instagram Associate

She Leads Africa believes in the power of young African women to build amazing careers and businesses, serve as community leaders and influencers, and eventually take over the world.

Our MotherlandMoguls, as we affectionately call them, are the reason we exist – to provide them with more inspiring and educational content to help them live their best lives.
We’re looking for an Instagram guru who’d like to join us in building She Leads Africa *to become the* number one destination for smart and ambitious African women.
This role is only open in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa only.

Reporting Structure: The Instagram Associate will report to the Head of Digital Content.


  • Be proactive about ensuring that SLA is a part of important conversations related to African women, business, career, and life
  • Grow the number of Instagram followers and page engagement
  • Lead weekly strategic meetings on content direction on the Instagram platform
  • Establish and deliver community engagement goals on a weekly and monthly basis
  • Utilize data and analytics to drive decision making and advise social content and editorial decisions
  • Oversee social content production and editing every week
  • Develop new concepts and series for the community and seek out contributors
  • Listen to our users and encourage dialogue on our platforms.


The ideal candidates will have an interest in building, growing and scaling communities. You don’t have to have official work experience doing this kind of work but we want someone who is passionate about digital content and can learn quickly.
If this role is for you, you’ll be excited to work in a fast-paced environment and committed to working until the job is done.

Specific requirements include:

  • Intellectual curiosity and an interest in learning new skills
  • Excellent English writing skills and the ability to adopt and change your style of writing
  • Experience in building and growing communities across markets using a variety of content, marketing, and partnership strategies
  • Knowledge of digital marketing strategies
  • Social media savvy and being up to date on current trends
  • Able to deliver on metrics-driven results and an understanding of analytics
  • Graphic design and video editing skills are a major plus


  • Entry level salary with commission
  • Opportunity to travel across Africa and interact with Africa’s leading voices and entrepreneurs
  • Work with a moderately fun team who’s just tryna change lives and help women get that schmoney.

Applications close on April 27, 2018.

Submit your application materials here:

[typeform_embed type=”embed” url=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfih3X0d2u1uYJAYYzf9kVzy9rvxaLmtw7ehMnEGyQ3EF6TzA/viewform”]

Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive, we will not be able to contact everyone who applies. We will not be able to answer additional questions via email.

Jobs – Head of Content

She Leads Africa believes in the power of young African women to build amazing careers and businesses, serve as community leaders and influencers, and eventually take over the world.

Our #MotherlandMoguls, as we affectionately call them, are the reason we exist and expanding – to provide them with more inspiring and educational content to help them live their best lives.

We’re looking for a digital leader who’d like to join us in building She Leads Africa into the number one destination for smart and ambitious African women.

This role is only open in Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg or Cape Town, South Africa only. 

Reporting Structure: The Head of Content reports directly to the SLA cofounders and is a member of the senior management team. They will also be responsible for managing a team of 3-4 direct reports.


Specifically the Head of Content will:
  • Grow the digital footprint of SLA across our website and social media followings
  • Develop new content ideas for the website and social media including multimedia and downloadable options
  • Track and monitor weekly visitor analytics and ensure monthly growth
  • Manage digital team employees including the social media, video and email managers
  • Be responsible for all digital programming on social media including twitter chats, webinars, facebook q&as, snapchat takeovers, etc
  • Identify, recruit and retain high quality contributors for our platform
  • Work with the business development manager to develop content ideas for brands
  • Proactively identify revenue generation opportunities
  • Listen to our users and encouraging dialogue on our platforms


The ideal candidates will have an interest in building, growing and scaling communities. You don’t have to have official work experience doing this kind of work but we want someone who is passionate about digital content and can learn quickly.
If this role is for you, you’ll be excited to work in a fast paced environment and committed to working until the job is done.
Specific requirements include:
  • Excellent English writing skills and the ability to adopt and change your style of writing
  • Experience in building and growing communities across markets using a variety of content, marketing and partnership strategies
  • Knowledge of SEO and digital marketing strategies
  • Social media savvy, including Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram and up to date on current trends
  • Able to deliver on metrics-driven results and an understanding of analytics
  • Graphic design and video editing skills are a major plus


  • Competitive salary with commission
  • Opportunity to travel across Africa and interact with Africa’s leading voices and entrepreneurs
  • Work with a moderately fun team who’s just tryna change lives and help women get that schmoney

Applications close on July 10, 2017.

Submit your application materials here:

[typeform_embed type=”embed” url=”https://sheleadsafrica.typeform.com/to/QIXAJA”]

Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive, we will not be able to contact everyone who applies. We will not be able to answer additional questions via email.

Jobs – Finance Manager

The Role:

She Leads Africa (SLA) is looking for a self-motivated, Finance Manager to help execute all of our financial goals. SLA is a premium media company for female entrepreneurs and professionals. We’ve built a community of 350,000 digitally engaged women across Africa and we are one of Africa’s fastest growing startups with features in Forbes, BBC Africa, Financial Times and CNBC Africa.

Our ideal candidate is someone who can oversee all our financial functions, perfect our financial strategies, and shake the money tree real good!

This role is located in  Lagos, Nigeria and reports to the co-founders.

Job Responsibilities:

Responsible for developing and leading all aspects of the company’s financial management and financial reporting.

  • Defines standards, policies, procedures, and measures to meet the company’s financial goals;
  • Creates and maintains a variety of performance metrics and dashboards to ensure the optimal finance operation of the business;
  • Conducts financial analysis and makes reports to co-founders, senior team members and investors;
  • Manages cash flows, forecasting and all financial accounting activities;
  • Maintains banking & accounting Relationships;
  • Manages the company’s financial reporting process;
  • Leads financial administration, planning and budgeting activities;
  • Drives financial strategies to mitigate risk and loss;
  • Ensures the company is compliant with tax authorities, understands the tax requirements, and optimizes tax obligations within compliance.


The ideal candidate will be exceptionally organized with experience using data management tools like excel. An accounting/ finance/ consulting background is a must. A desire and interest in building a happy and healthy team environment is key

  • Experience in finance, business operations, or management consulting;
  • ACCA, CFA, or ICAN certified;
  • Financial modelling;
  • Excel
  • Knowledge of local tax remittances;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Tech-savvy;
  • Detail oriented and organized;
  • Self-motivated (Asks few questions and gets the job done);
  • Prior experience working at startup is a plus*.


Application process:

[typeform_embed type=”embed” url=”https://sheleadsafrica.typeform.com/to/voOlkJ”]

Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive, we will not be able to contact everyone who applies. We will not be able to answer additional questions via email.

Valentine Mabaso: I am a warrior, I got scars to prove it

I aspire to help those with skin conditions and scars to see that their strength Click To Tweet

…Shape, size and scars. These are some of the common insecurities that massacre every shred of confidence one can possess. Women feel the pressure to weigh certain kilos, have a particular melanin shade and definitely a clear skin tone.

But trying to be something else is honestly a waste of who you truly are. You need to accept the areas that make you feel fragile and capitalise on your  strengths. A beautiful soul called Valentine Mabaso embraced her own scars and now gives hope to all those who feel trapped by their skin conditions. This #MotherlandMogul is a Marketing Specialist by day and a Rock Scars warrior every day. Her aspirations are to help others see that their strength is written on their skin and to help them see the beauty in their scars.

She lives with a chronic skin condition called Atopic Dermatitis and has been living with it for 10 years to date. The 23-year-old was born and bred in the rural villages of Limpopo and currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa. Valentine has two awesome younger brothers and they were raised by a single mother who is Valentine’s number 1 cheerleader in her mission to change the world.

What Rock Scars priorities are you focusing on right now?

At this stage we are prioritizing on the following:

  • To provide a platform and an environment that serves to empower and inspire people living with any form of skin condition or a scar of any kind.
  • To restore self confidence in people of any age and gender, living with scars by providing support, networking, mentoring, encouragement and health care activities across the nation (particularly concerning skin disorders, cancer and scars of any form).mabaso

Rock Scars also educates people about skin conditions. Do you do this personally or do you have professionals who conduct these sessions?

We have unfortunately not worked with any dermatologist to date but we hope to have a professional assisting with that in future. I personally made thorough research about different forms of skin conditions, the common ones and those that are rare. I look at how they can be prevented and/or treated and how to live with them and then I share that with others.

We call this Skin Condition Awareness and it is Rock Scars’ way of educating people about skin conditions. However, I always make it clear that our participants should in all cases seek medical attention with professional Skin Doctors. Also, as people come forward to share their stories about their skin conditions, I further research about the skin conditions and then create awareness about them, especially with our online communities.

rs logo

How do you tackle discrimination against the people you assist?

I believe that no one is born with a discriminatory mind, such things are learned from people and events around us. If we can teach people especially those not directly affected by us and our scars, then we can change their minds thus tackle being discriminated. We teach people to learn to appreciate diversity and respect people who are different in any way.

People may be disabled, transgender, dark-skin or have a different hair color, scars, stretch marks or a skin condition but the truth is, no one chose to be that way so why should we discriminate them. Rock Scars promotes dialogue on social media and during the events where we engage those living with skin conditions and scars and those who don’t.

In as much as I wish to protect the people I assist against discrimination and negative remarks, I unfortunately, cannot be there for them all the time. This is why during the sessions or our 1 on 1 conversations I remind them that they are warriors. That way they will be strengthened and will stand their ground under any circumstance.

I call them warriors not because I want them to feel better but because it is true. If you can survive a burning house, car accidents, cancer, and its many surgeries, live with a chronic condition for so long, why should words from someone you don’t know break you? I remind them that it matters NOT what others say. They should know that they fought bigger battles and won them and now they have the scars as medals to prove it.

rock scar

How do you respond when Rock Scars is held up as an object of ridicule?

The best tool I believe in is education. Most people make such remarks because of misinformation, so the best way to correct such behavior is through educating them about our conditions.

For example, I was told a lot of times that I must be HIV positive because of my skin and its scars. This example goes to prove that people can just look at you and make their own assumptions and conclusions. Through Rock Scars, I show people it is not ok to make your own conclusion just by looking at me.

Often when we get ridiculed for what we do, I always remind people that no one ever voluntarily goes out there to get a scar for the fun of it. We try to make those ridiculing us understand that even if they are not infected they are probably affected in some way. They have someone in their lives who has a scar or is living with a skin condition. We are patient with those who do not agree with what Rock Scars does and let them know that in any case the same happens to them they are welcome to our family of warriors.

To grow, do you advertise Rock Scars or do you rely on word of mouth? Why?

I use every opportunity I get to promote the good work Rock Scars does. We interact with most people online and therefore use that as an advertising tool. It allows us to reach a large number of people across the globe instantly and it is cost effective, which is beneficial for a small social enterprise like Rock Scars.

We are also occasionally given the opportunity at various TV and radio stations in South Africa to advertise our brand through interviews. Podcasts and videos are available on our website. We also attend seminars of other organizations with similar objectives which contribute to our growth.

Besides the struggle to get proper venues for events what other challenges are you facing as an NGO?

My biggest challenge is running this organization and having to do my 9-5 cooperate job. Rock Scars is a social enterprise and as much as I would love to devote 100% of my time to it, I unfortunately, can’t.

I depend solely on my income to run the Rock Scars campaign and help others. I am not complaining, I love my job but I would love to travel across the country especially schools to encourage and educate learners that scars are beautiful.


What are the key indicators by which you measure your impact?

There are various ways we use to measure the effectiveness of Rock Scars. One would be an increase in the number of attendants and participants to our sessions. On our second session, we realized growth in the number of participants who came through to share their stories.

We also measure the effectiveness of our work through testimonies and reviews. There is nothing that makes me happy like seeing someone who attended our session/s having the courage to wear anything they like and feel absolutely confident and beautiful in their skin.

With our online community, it’s very easy to measure our effectiveness. For example, we can post a story of one of the warriors with a picture of themselves attached and once we see people open up about their own scars and skin disorder stories, we know that our message has been positively received.

The number of likes and shares each post gets is also a good indicator of the impact our organization has. Another way is when people from other countries who contact us to share their stories which indicates that our organization is serving its purpose.

Valentine, I understand to date you are funding Rock Scars. How do you plan to increase your income streams besides calling out for sponsors?

It is very difficult getting people to invest into your idea and vision, especially one that is something totally different and is based more on changing people’s lives than profit. That is why I resorted to self-funding the organization.

We are currently in the process of making a few Rock Scars items that will be for sale and help us raise funds so we can be able to travel across the continent to reach more warriors. Items will include, Rock Scars shirts, caps, fruit juices, and more exciting things.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here

Emefa Quashie: From beauty queen to farmer and social entrepreneur

emefa quashie
Mamagah Farms is an agricultural social project run by beauty queen Emefa Quashie Click To Tweet

It’s not every day that you hear the story of a beauty queen owning a farm. But the story gets bewildering when you notice that instead of just employing people to work on the farm (like some “modern” farmers do) she goes hands in and knee deep -getting her well-manicured nails in groveling dirt as she furiously uproots and plants, as she waters and nurtures and as she satisfyingly harvests and reaps.

Meet Emefa Quashie. A present farmer, social entrepreneur and an erstwhile beauty pageant winner. When she’s not furiously uprooting and planting on her farm (Mamagah Farms), she is lost in her studies for her MBA in Marketing or running Universal ChildCare Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports needy children.

SLA contributor Emma Kwenu Smith caught up with Emefa to get some insights on how to dominate in an unpopular agriculture career for modern young women and simultaneously use it to make a social impact.

Tell us about Mamagah Farms.

Mamagah Farms is a social project that mobilizes and empowers rural women farmers to adopt modern technologies in farming. We want to commercialize agriculture in rural communities in southern Ghana. Mamagah farms was established in 2015 with the main aim of empowering women economically through commercial farming and creating support schemes. These schemes create opportunities for smallholder farmers to improve their livelihood.

Currently, we work with female smallholder farmers in rural communities within the Southern part of Ghana. Simply put: We farm, we train and we support.

There are so many avenues for social entrepreneurship -why agriculture and what was the innovative idea behind Mamagah Farms?

I was born into a farming community, and my mother was a small holder farmer so I spent a lot of my days on the farm assisting her. Unfortunately, along the line I grew up with a warped misconception about agriculture. Growing up in a rural community, I always thought farming was for the poor and uneducated -after all, many folks there turn to farming to be able to feed their families and also make an economic living.

However, over time I came to appreciate the relevance of agriculture and numerous opportunities it presents to the youth. Mamagah Farms was born out of this realization. This is why I decided to take up farming –to send a message to the young women.


Do you plan to diversify what you produce and expand to include other parts of the country? How are you preparing for this?

With over 200 acres of land in the Volta Region of Ghana, we specialize in growing and harvesting in maize and pepper. Unfortunately, and as is the same with any start-up, not having enough funds can slow down plans of scaling up. We are pitching for investors and hopefully, we would be able to work at optimum capacity, making full use of the land.

This way, we will be able to diversify our produce and grow a variety of crops to suit both local and international demands. Funding is everything especially for an entrepreneur who wants to leverage on technology to make farming simple and easier. There are plans to expand to other parts of the country and even West Africa.

Funding is everything especially for an entrepreneur who wants to leverage on technology Click To Tweet

How does your business as a social venture empower local women farmers?

Mamagah Farms is just like social entrepreneurship project. We apply business principles to solve societal problems. What we noticed is that there is potential for rural women farmers to cultivate on a bigger scale and learn the best farming methods which would ultimately impact their economic livelihood. Realizing this, we use the profit from Mamagah Farms for investments.

Apart from financially supporting these farmers to purchase inputs and commercialize their farms, we also partner with local organizations to provide training and extension sessions for these women. Most of the women who work with us are single mothers and while we want to fight poverty and promote empowerment, we want these women to have enough to afford to educate their children. An empowered woman means an empowered family and ultimately, an empowered nation.


What challenges have you faced with Mamagah Farms and its related social projects?

My biggest challenge has been reorienting the minds of the local folks. As hardworking as they are, the tradition has created a certain mindset towards change. A typical example is technology. When you suggest the use of tractors, some believe that using tractors may disturb the peace of their ancestors. With such a mindset, how can we grow?

But it is not enough to recognize a challenge and leave it there. We take the women farmers through training programs, where we address these challenges. We show them concrete examples of how farming is done in first world countries and how we can get there. Culture and tradition can have a hold on people’s mindset, and it is important to give them the needed exposure in order to disabuse this mindset.


Why should more women explore the prospects in agriculture in Ghana, and Africa?

In recent times, women are defying the odds and taking more risks in their careers. Why should agriculture and agribusinesses be any different? Can a woman not own a 10,000 acre farm and work on it herself, while managing others to work as well? Agriculture has never been and is not a reserve of men. Our natural disposition as women makes us more inclined to be the better farmers, we are nurturing and detail-oriented. This is an important quality.

There are several opportunities in agriculture we can take advantage of. From crop planting through to the distribution of produce, there are endless opportunities to explore. Food is a necessity. Africa has arable land and other resources, and there are always opportunities to meet the need for food produce.  If you get such an opportunity, why say no?

Agriculture has never been and is not a reserve of the man - Emefa Quashie founder of @MamagahFarms Click To Tweet

Aside farming, what are your other interests?

I study because I have to slay in my MBA.  Aside that, I love to visit the gym and play tennis. Having been a beauty queen myself, I enjoy beauty pageantry.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Trecia Makhubele: It is ordinary South Africans that will create jobs in SA

Bohochic was born from a desperate need for financial stability Click To Tweet

Born in rural Mpumalanga in a small town called Bushbuckridge, Trecia Makhubele, co-founder of Bohochic, is a graduate from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls. In 2016, she went on to achieve her undergraduate degree in Politics and international studies.

Trecia is currently a Penultimate year law student at Rhodes University where she tutors law first-yearear students and works as a law library assistant. Trecia is passionate about entrepreneurship and believes that it is ordinary South Africans that will be able to create jobs in SA.

SLA contributor Jeanette Nkwana interviewed this young South African entrepreneur, this is how it went.

How did Bohochic and your partnership with the co-founder come about?

Bohochic, like most black owned businesses in SA, was born from a desperate need for financial stability. Rue, my friend and co-founder, and I found it difficult to go to residence trips to buy appropriate clothing for court visits and textbooks because our parents were just not able to provide us with everything that we needed.

Instead of accepting our financial situation, we each started our own businesses, mine being Spiritus Mundi designs and Rue’s being Rude-soul chains, making jewellery. However,separately we were not making enough money to sustain ourselves. We then looked at trends and realised there was a growing fascination for crochet clothing. Having had basic crochet skills, we read blog posts and watched YouTube videos and soon we had a couple of designs. Once we were confident enough with the idea, we abandoned our businesses and used their respective profits to start Bohochic.


What are some of the challenges of working with a partner and how do you personally deal with them?

For some reason, we both work really well together and have never had any major fights to date. I think it’s all about finding someone you have a good chemistry with. Both Rue and I luckily found that in each other.

'Good chemistry is important in a partnership - Trecia Makhubele' Click To Tweet

Another reason we hardly face any challenges in this partnership is the consistent brutal honesty between us. If for example, someone makes something ugly, the other is not afraid to speak up. The receiving party does not take it personally either. It simply becomes a laughing matter! This is perhaps due to the fact that we are also friends and thus know each other well.

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You value your academic career, how do you deal with the pressures coming from school and entrepreneurship?

We made a pact that no matter how big Bohochic gets, we would not let it take up more space in our lives than our academics. At the beginning our timetables allowed us to split our times to ensure our academic lives did not suffer. Of late, the business has become too big as we are now doing post-graduate studies which requires more of our time.

This has. undoubtedly, put a lot of pressure on both of us. We have decided to start a skills development programme in Grahamstown which allows us to teach a number of people how to crochet so that they can eventually come on board as our employees and do the actual crocheting. This will lessen our burden of making each order and help families like our own by way of job creation.

Bohochic is more than a brand dedicated to making money, we want to uplift our communities Click To Tweet

You are also a YouTuber, how has this helped with the success of Bohochic?

Bohochic is more than just a brand dedicated to making money. It is about showing young people like ourselves that social media can be used to uplift ourselves and communities.

Through our tutorials and videos, we hope to get people thinking. We want to show them that there are awesome business ideas that do not require large sums of money to execute. We have been able to fulfill this mandate through our YouTube channel as most of our viewers are students like ourselves.


What is the most fulfilling thing about what you do?

The financial independence.

Nothing is more fulfilling than being able to buy a bus ticket to school or that ridiculously expensive textbook without having to put pressure on our families.

What do you think your customers value most about Bohochic?

The creativity that goes into the products we make. We do not just make crochet tops, we take the time to research and see what people are into and translate that into each crochet item.

Bohochic looking to expand from crochet tops and chokers to Bohochic Kids and Home. Click To Tweet

What can we look forward to from Bohochic this year?

Growth, lots of it. We have dedicated so much time to improving our craft. This year we will see the finalization and launch of Bohochic Kids and Bohochic Home.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Growing and marketing your brand via social media – The tale of 5 #MotherlandMoguls

When used right, digital media can be harnessed to make a direct impact in the society Click To Tweet

It is not often that one catches five aspiring women in the same spot. Well, maybe it’s often, but what are the chances of finding them engaged in a fashion project to raise awareness and funds for charity?

These five #MotherlandMoguls are part of the ongoing Romperade Campaign, an online fashion charity event to raise funds for Living for the Needy Foundation. SLA contributor Emma Kwenu Smith caught up with the five who have successfully grown their brands online, to ask them quick questions about the impact of social media marketing on their businesses.

What’s the role of social media in charity organizations and specifically for your brand? How has social media given you exposure as a brand/charity foundation?

Caritas Aryee, Founder, Tatas and Friends Foundation.


You would notice that, largely, Ghanaian charity foundations have always run on traditional media. It’s easier to hear a radio ad calling for donations for the Osu Children’s home etc. rather than a social media campaign for funds.

This is the exact reason why Tatas and Friends Foundation has been a game changer in the industry. We started with social media and still the story has not changed. It has been a huge boost for us, and we encourage others to do same. First off, our publicity is done via social media. It is easy to get Kenkey for the Needy, (which is our major fundraising project) trending on platforms such as twitter and IG.

Since we are a charity organization, we are unable to invest in traditional media for publicity. However, through social media, we receive access to grant interviews on TV and radio. In doing so, we have been profiled alongside other solid brands on platforms such as Starr Woman Project, TedX campus, Reach for Change and many others. And to think this publicity is free! We just had to capitalize.

The second bit of using social media is that we are able to reach out to people both locally and internationally to raise money. People we do not even know, reach out to us so that they can donate to the cause. It is amazing!

Social media is a powerful tool, it has shaped the Living for the Needy brand and has given us a lot of exposure.

How do influencers promote a brand and how rewarding is it to include them when building your brand online?

Jessica Naa Adjeley Konney, Fashion Blogger, Trends&Blendsgh.


Influencers have become the new voices of brands —they are already largely recognized on social media for carving a niche. At this point, they have grown an audience that is interested in every content they churn out which is great for people who would like to patronize their services.

If you'd like to speed up the process of advertising a new brand, influencers are the way to go Click To Tweet

Being an influencer myself and having featured influencers as well, I can say that the exposure they give to a brand is immense.

Featuring an influencer takes many forms —you can have them use and review your products and put up posts on social media. They can also be included in events and can feature in huge campaigns so that it gains traction.

How do you know which digital audience to engage with for your brand and how do you decide which social media platform to use?

Constance Efua Mensah, Creative Director, EfuaStanzz Fashion.


It starts with knowing the general audience target for my brand. We are more skewed towards women’s clothing but basically, all our marketing is geared towards the confident woman. In that light, it is important that we build an identity that resonates with our targeted audience.

Choosing one social media platform starts with knowing & understanding your audience Click To Tweet

Images are essential for my fashion brand —it helps clients (both potential and existing) know what my brand is capable of providing. After all, to be comfortable enough to purchase a dress, you need to see it and assess it from all angles. As such, I mostly use Instagram and Facebook as a means of communicating to my audience.

Facebook has a wider reach, meaning more people see our posts and it also allows for effective picture/video sharing. Instagram also has a beautiful and simple approach to marketing. Content, particularly on Instagram, is simply more shareable, easier to understand, and far more universal than other types of content. Also, it is full of people eager to connect with a brand on a more intimate and tangible level.

Does social media directly affect your client base?

Lamisi, MakeUp Artist, Lamisi Artistry.


Truth is, I do get over 80% of my clients via social media. The rest is through word of mouth.

MUAs need social media, people need to see your work before trusting you with their faces Click To Tweet

I leverage heavily on Instagram particularly so that people see the images —it is an excellent platform for sharing all my works. However, the industry is very competitive, as such, it is important to make sure that your images are of good quality. Else, how will you stand out and win potential clients over?

For brands like Coca Cola, Vodafone etc. there may not be a very direct correlation between the sales you make and your social media investment. However, for us in the beauty industry, it’s very plain.

Social media dictates our potential client base and ultimately, it is where we get our clients Click To Tweet

The more posts on your social media pages, the better? Why?

Maud Mensah, CEO, WigClub


That statement is indisputable. The more you post and engage your audience, the more visible you are. However, you do not want to share too much information that it suffocates them and drives them away, and you also don’t want to share so little that they become disinterested. It is important to find the right balance for your brand. As a rule of thumb, we at WigClub post often but at least twice in a day.

As they say, when it comes to social media, learn to flirt with the fine art of frequency Click To Tweet

But you see, even in every conversation, it’s not enough to just talk. It’s more important to listen. Likewise, it’s not enough to just post. It’s more important to also engage and listen to your audience. This way you will know if your posts are resonating well or if you need to change anything to make your brand well liked among your audience.

While this wraps it up, we will be glad to have additional input on using social media as a marketing tool. If you have some tips and insights, please share. What say you?

Natasha Bassey: I want to be better and to make others better

I try to add value to someone, somewhere, somehow each day - Natasha Bassey Click To Tweet

At a time when most young ladies will give an arm and foot to work in one of the biggest Telecomm companies in Africa, this #MotherlandMogul took a wild leap and it is taking her places.

Meet Natasha Bassey, PR woman, trainer, network marketer and a multi-business owner. Outside working in Telecomm, Natasha has experience in the show business industry. SLA contributor Priscilla Omoruyi caught up with Natasha Bassey and she shared her experiences and life work with us.

How long were you in the Telecomm industry?

I spent approximately 3 and half years in customer service and customer relations. My job was to attend to customer issues and try to resolve them as quickly as possible while at the same time trying to empathise with the customer and reassure them that the would get the most time effective response to their issue.

What prompted you to leave and strike it out on your own?

It initially started when I was diagnosed with medical issues that affected my hearing. I had also just completed my second degree in sociology and felt there was no better time to move on to new things.

What are the challenges you face as a network marketer?

For me, the greatest challenge isn’t even the recession. It is the close-minded nature of people to new ideas and better ways of doing things. I find overcoming that get rich quick mentality of instant gratification here and now a huge challenge.

Natasha Bassey's greatest challenge has been people's resistance to new ideas Click To Tweet

Money in itself is, after all, a byproduct of the mental process, so if that process is shunted in any way then there will be issues.

You are into a lot of things, how do you handle them?

I am usually able to handle all my businesses with my phone which I have turned into a mini office. I seriously need a personal assistant, though.

The truth is that handling so many initiatives does take quite a bit of juggling. But the willingness and drive are fueled for me by my determination, I want to be better and to make others better.

I wake up each day determined to take it one day at a time, one decision at a time. I try not to do everything but focus on the most important and rewarding things. Above all, I try to add value to someone, somewhere, somehow each day.

What are your best and worst moments?

For this, I would like to borrow a phrase we use in network marketing. There are no good or bad experiences, only learning experiences and this knowledge has really changed the way I think.

Natasha Bassey: There are no good or bad experiences, only learning experience Click To Tweet

The truth is no person or event has the power to make or break you, you are the only person who can. Interestingly another great thinker Brian Tracy said this, successful people make every decision right. This means that whatever decision the person takes in that time, whether “good” or “bad”, the person makes it work out right.

If you could go back in time to change something about your work and business, would you?

My mother always used to say hindsight and the ability to look back at our choices is a good but can only be achieved in retrospect. I believe all my actions and experiences brought me where I am today, I honestly don’t feel I would change anything.

I say this even though I sometimes look back at the time and energy I put into getting my second degree and wonder if I should have put in that much.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here

Unmarried womenconomics: Managing your finances for the future

You may want to start saving ahead if you plan to marry and have kids in the future Click To Tweet

So you are just like me. Young, wild and free. In the bloom of youth. No husband has stamped his logo on your heart yet, and there are yet no children to wrap themselves around your legs, displaying embarrassingly in public with cries and tantrums, making you wish they were old and married off already.

But we all know someday the story may change. No more Maybelline fit me foundation shades as a priority on the list. Instead diapers, school fees, and their ilk of expenses will be the main components of your monthly and by extension, annual budget.

So in the meantime, how do you manage your finances in preparation for the future?

Here’s how:

Be self-reliant

Do not rely on someone else, like a boyfriend or “Sugar Daddy” (yes, we all know they exist) for your financial security. They may or may not be there for you forever, but at least you know that you will always be there for you.

Get a job, a career and try to make your own money. Also be open minded about educating yourself on how to manage and invest your money. After all, it’s your money. Trust me, you will rather keep a keen eye on it, than have someone do that for you.

There are too many I-trusted-my-money-with-someone stories gone bad and you do not want to be next on that tall list.

Like all others, your financial discipline depends on your mental strength. Click To Tweet


A budget is simple; it helps you to know how much you have earned versus how much you are spending. Above all, you need to know what you spend most of your money on. It’s as simple as putting down all your figures on that notepad, or downloading Fast Budget or AndroMoney on Google Play Store.

Either way, you will know if most of your money is invested in the Friday and Saturday night outings with the girls, or if you are spending more on make-up than you absolutely need to.

After such a “divine revelation”, you will know which activities to cut down on and if you need get an alternative yet cheaper means of transport to work.


Think long term about how you want your financial future to look. One too many Whatsapp chain messages have accused the average African of prioritizing consumption over savings and it is time to prove the outside world wrong.

It starts with a mindset change, and for us at SLA, it starts with the woman’s renewed mindset. Unfortunately, statistics has also not been kind to our gender. Per a recent study by mutual fund company, Vanguard, men have 50 percent more money saved for their retirement than women do.

Even after earning less, it appears women cannot resist the urge to splurge. so let us prove them wrong. Although this is not necessarily a battle of the sexes, small acts of saving play the most significant role in determining if you can live your desired lifestyle.

Let us determine to put a percentage of the salary down, untouched. So walk to that bank, open up a savings account and place a monthly standing order on your current account. Or?

“Money, like emotions, is something you must control to keep your life on the right track.” 
 Natasha Munson

First save, next invest

Saving is not enough. It is woefully inadequate. That money cannot just be there breathing. Do your own research on acquiring financial assets; will it be a Treasury bill, a fixed deposit or mutual funds?

Let the money make money for you. Click To Tweet

It could even double as your emergency fund for that rainy day. There is a lot of information out there for avenues to invest. This is a great place to start. Better still, you can talk to a qualified investment officer about the options for investing.


Learn from your money mistakes. Do not let them sentence you to a life of financial misery.

All the blood rushed from her head to her eyes when she saw that red dress, and in a split second of not weighing the odds, she pulled out her purse, counted that thick wad of stash, and exchanged it for a dress which she will later find out to be one size smaller.”


Can you relate? (Yes. That was a hushed whisper, but I heard you.)

We simply learn from our past mistakes, and the next time our friend above will think twice about wanting that dress, and purchasing it. She now has the present and future to correct that slip-up. The same should be for you.

So what if you are an impulse buyer? Seek counsel. Read a book to help you snap out of it. What if you are the contemporary African female Santa? Learn to control your philanthropic escapades. Examine your spending streak, look at your money mistakes and put measures in place so you do not repeat them.


So renew that mind and let us get to the promised land. Similarly, the hackneyed quote says; “if you can dream it, you can achieve it.” Here’s a toast to all the money you will be saving and investing for the future.

May you be disciplined to manage your finances now!

May interest rates be high so that you earn more when you save and invest!!

And above all, may you enjoy spending it!!!

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