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Nigerian entrepreneur launches first beauty marketplace for Africa in Korea

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The first ever Korean beauty marketplace for Africa, Beauficial, has been developed and launched by South Korea-based Nigerian entrepreneur, Grace Okafor, founder and CEO of Beauficial Inc.

According to a statement issued by Michaela Moye, Beauficial launched its inclusive and first of its kind marketplace platform on January 01, 2020, at the Seoul Global Startup Centre, Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea.

The statement noted that the African market is currently dominated by brands from USA, France and Germany with China also increasing its dominance in Africa.

The platform was therefore developed to give easy and direct access to authentic South Korean health and beauty products and services, effectively bridging the gap between the world’s top beauty industry and African clients in the world’s fast emerging beauty market.

“Beauficial is the first-ever bridge built that connects South Korea and Africa together in the Health and Beauty Industry. We want to make it easy for Africans and South Koreans to have access to each other with no middlemen costs and barriers. In recent years K-beauty has skyrocketed in popularity but despite this growth, it is still concentrated in Asia, North America and Europe with little access to Africa’s emerging beauty market,” Okafor was quoted saying.

Beauficial was developed to transform trade relationships between South Korea and Africa through digital trade. The start-up is poised to facilitate the rise of Korean health and beauty in Africa as well as link personalized and inclusive health and beauty products and services from South Korea to the African consumer.

The platform, which projects a similar consumer reach to Aliexpress, will be focused on specific categories: skincare, makeup, smart beauty gadgets, Korean health supplements and organic cosmetic ingredients.

The beauty industry in Middle East and Africa was estimated at about $27.1 billion in 2018. Of this figure, South Africa alone represented $4.5 billion; Nigeria and Kenya are second and third among sub-Saharan nations, with Kenya’s market totaling more than $320 million.

“We believe that Beauficial will become a market leader in the health and beauty industry for Africans and people of color starting with K-Beauty,” said Okafor.

She addee “Our ultimate goal is to help health and beauty companies connect directly to more African consumers while simultaneously increasing trade relationship, personalization and inclusivity.”

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