How a trip to the Congo kickstarted a skincare startup ”, (How a trip to the Congo allowed the launch of a startup dedicated to skin care) headlined, in November 2016, the very serious newspaper Miami Herald, a month after the launch of the “Eben Naturals” brand. Indeed, it was during a trip to the DRC that Milain David, a native of Kinshasa, had the idea to launch his brand. “I was deeply shocked and hurt in my pride by the preponderance of skin lightening products. I found the message conveyed by the companies there extremely dangerous. So I had the following reasoning: if Africans themselves are not able to appreciate and promote black beauty, who will do it for us? », Explains Milain David. It was in order to restore the black beauty to its former glory that this graduate in Finance and Economics from the University of Miami then embarked on entrepreneurship. Son of an executive of an oil company, Milain David lived and studied in 7 different countries between Africa, Europe and America: Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria, DRC, Ethiopia, France and USA . He has completed several long-term internships with large groups such as the French oil company Total, the American financial giant Citibank as well as the pan-African bank Ecobank. In the 2012 US presidential election, Milain David worked in the finance department of the US Democratic Party as part of the fundraising team for Barack Obama. A fundraising experience which was useful for the launch of his company which obtained funds thanks to the crowdfunding platform “Kickstarter”. “We were able to raise $ 16,000. It also allowed us to make ourselves known to the general public before our official launch because in today’s digital economy being stamped “Kickstarter” is a big advantage, “said the young entrepreneur.
Milain David, the cosmetician of black skin
A brand in tune with codes and customs
For Milain David, “Eben Naturals” is the first brand dedicated exclusively to black skin. “From design to the distribution methods of our products, we adopt the codes and customs of our time,” he explains. For this purpose, says the young entrepreneur, “Eben Naturals” uses exclusively natural products obtained from the best suppliers. “We are certified 100% natural and not tested on animals,” he notes with pride. “Eben Naturals” products (Tonic Lotion, Face Cream and Body Cream) are sold exclusively online and in certain specialist beauty companies. They are also distributed monthly to subscribers. “We use social networks and influencers to promote the brand. The content that we make available to Internet users is fun and easy to share. We are a pure product of the digital age. Eben is as much a cosmetics firm as a technology firm, “argues the young entrepreneur.
Black skin: a $ 7 billion market in the US
Milain David hopes to achieve sales of over $ 2 million over a 5-year horizon. It is after achieving this goal that he wishes to enter the African market. The young entrepreneur is not lacking in ambition in an American market where, he says, as far as black women are concerned, the cosmetics market is worth more than $ 7 billion. “It is a colossal market and one which is constantly growing, due to the increasing purchasing power of this category of the population. Globally, markets such as England, France and Belgium which have a high concentration of people of sub-Saharan origin who are fond of products that meet their needs are also very attractive. Of course Africa is also a gigantic and constantly evolving market, ”says the creator of Eben Naturals. The latter plans to develop production units in West Africa and Central Africa in order to supply the markets of these sub-regions with quality and inexpensive products. For now, Milain David plans to expand the brand’s range of products from 3 to 8 as well as bring Eben Naturals into big box stores in America and Europe, while waiting to enter the African market.