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My start-up story: Hermine Kinkela

Hermine Kinkela runs Mbikudi, a social enterprise selling natural, organic hair- and skincare products. She points to over-marketing and over-use of chemical hair products, coupled with a shocking personal experience, for her entry into business.

What led you to start you to start your own business?

My hair caught fire on my 21st Birthday as a result of using products that made my hair extremely flammable. This event sparked me to research natural alternative products in order to prevent future hair damage. I later discovered that my experience was not an isolated incidence and many other women in my community had also been affected. I saw a unique opportunity to tackle negative perceptions such as “beauty is pain.”

How did you know you were ready?

I knew that I was ready once more people were seeking the solutions I had found for myself. Prior to setting up, I had conducted a lot of research in my field. There was a moment when I realised that I was becoming an expert in my field; I was aware of new trends before they emerged.


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