“This is an industry where 78% of products that are targeted to black women contain horrible toxic ingredients. There was a paper that came out that linked parabens in black haircare products to breast cancer growth in black women. Nothing you use to groom yourself should be making you sick.”

In this week’s 40 Minute Mentor ‘Early Stage Founders’ Feature Series episode, we’re joined by Rachael Twumasi-Corson, the Founder and CEO of black-owned haircare business, Afrocenchix

Afrocenchix are on a mission to put health first in haircare, and people and planet before profit. They do this by using environmentally friendly preservatives, ethically sourced, organic and vegan certified ingredients. 

Their brilliant work has been recognised by multiple awards, a thriving community of loyal customers in more than 54 countries and world-class investors backing their mission, including Google’s Black Founders Fund. 

However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Rachael and in today’s episode we hear very candid stories, including the successes and the setbacks that led to them, including: 

  • Why interviews don’t always give you the full picture of a potential hire [03:03] 
  • How having children has changed her as a Founder and business leader [06:01] 
  • How her upbringing fuelled her entrepreneurial spirit [11:07] 
  • What her University experience was like and how a kitchen lab in her student house saw the beginnings of Afrocenchix [16:49] 
  • Why touching someone’s hair is an invasion of space and a microaggression which needs to stop [25:45] 
  • What makes Afrocenchix such a special D2C business [31:01] 
  • How D2C Founders can prepare for the recession [33:45] 
  • The do’s and don’ts of building a community [39:17] 
  • Rachael’s experience of fundraising and her advice for any Founders embarking on that journey [43:56]

⛳️  Helpful links: 

➡️ More about Rachael: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachaeltwumasi/ 
➡️ More about Afrocenchix: https://afrocenchix.com/ 

➡️ Rachael’s Medium article on fundraising: https://rachaeltwumasicorson.medium.com/10-tips-for-raising-investment-how-afrocenchix-secured-google-funding-in-1-2m-seed-round-ae29f18ed3a2

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