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    Date submitted
  • 25-Aug-2017

Beauty with a Cause


Shea Yeleen is a social enterprise dedicated to empowering women in West Africa and the United States through the production, sale and use of shea butter products. A unique blend of grassroots organizing and business development, Shea Yeleen is a company that specializes in manufacturing high quality, organic, fair trade skin care products and utilizing a sales strategy that incorporates women’s’ micro enterprise development. Products are being sold at MGM Resorts and Whole Foods Markets.


Original Vimeo URL: Open

Introduction Video


Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

The Shea Yeleen customer cares about the purity of products they use, and they want to buy products that make a difference. A Harris Poll survey found that 59 percent of women over the age of 35 feel access to green beauty is important, and 73% of millennial women seek out all-natural products. This is the market segment that Shea Yeleen focuses on.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Shea Yeleen's business model provides two solutions: 1. Creating living wage jobs for women in rural communities and helping women to become global business leaders by elevating their role and participation within supply chains. 2. Ensuring that a high-quality natural product is accessible to consumers wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

The organic personal care segment of the global beauty industry was approximately $10.2 billion as of 2015 and is expected to increase to $15.7 billion by 2020 (9% CAGR). Within that segment, the organic skincare products dominated global demand, producing approximately $3.0 billion in salesin 2015. The United States, which is the largest submarket, has a market capitalization of approximately $3.0 billion and hosts a relatively disparate number of brands and price points. The rising importance of natural ingredients such as herbs, vegetables, and fruits in skin care products with anti-ageing properties is expected to fuel demand for organic personal care products. (Grand View Research November 2016). Given these market attributes Shea Yeleen is uniquely positioned to benefit from this growing market because our business model focuses on ethically sourcing the purest ingredients for our premium product line.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Shea Yeleen has overcome the initial hurdles of securing seed funding and achieving market penetration with a line of products in Whole Foods Markets and MGM Resorts International. The company has in place a strong and experienced operational management team with extensive knowledge of production and distribution of the natural shea butter industry within the cosmetic industry. The core management team has a combined 60 years of experience in international development, business management, government affairs, and marketing.