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BWA exhibition to boost local entrepreneurs

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Beauty West Africa (BWA) is set to open on November 20th in Lagos with over 200 exhibitors, almost double the number taking part in the launch event last year.

Such is the increased demand for space, the event organisers have expanded the international trade show into two halls at the Landmark Centre on Victoria Island. One outcome is that the zone dedicated to local SME beauty and cosmetics businesses will be bigger.

Having quickly established itself as the ‘must attend’ event in the West African cosmetics and beauty calendar, BWA 2019 will run from November 20th to 22nd with over 4,500 visitors expected. While the show is aimed at anyone who works in the beauty industry, the third day of the event will be open to the public. Admission is free.

BWA is organised BtoB Events. Following the launch of BWA last November, the company has since successfully launched Food and Beverage West Africa and the West Africa Automotive Show, all in Lagos. BWA has two new Gold Sponsors, international fragrance brand Lyla Blanc and the hair product brand Cantu.

Responding to the increased interest, Managing Director Jamie Hill said: “We are excited to see the major growth in the local participation for the second edition of BWA. We have extended the SME zone to spread across both halls which underlines our passion to support local Nigerian business.”

BWA has also collaborated with the Bank of Industry to help support access to finance through the BoI by facilitating applications through the BWA website. Another draw for visitors is the conference, organised in partnership with Compass Consulting, with a number of international and local beauty industry leaders lined up to speak.

While Nigerian businesses represent a third of exhibitors, the international component means around 20 countries are represented.

China, Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa, and Thailand will all have national pavilions, and a number of exhibitors are returning.
Naturally Tribal Skincare is one. Shalom Lloyd, its Founder and Managing Director, describes her company as “a proudly British brand with a Nigerian heritage which speaks to our diversity and international reach. Our focus is global with a soft spot for Africa!”

She regards BWA as being “genuinely the only ‘Gold Standard’ exhibition targeted at the West African beauty market. Naturally Tribal attended the first BWA show in Lagos last year and coming back in 2019 says it all!

“We believe that Nigerian businesses are looking for companies that are ready to do business. Overseas exhibitors need to understand the market in terms of culture, pricing and how business is done generally in Nigeria. It is all about value for money and products with the right documented and proven efficacy and safety – Naturally Tribal Skincare is ready to do business in Nigeria.”

Ms Lloyd is looking forward to the diverse range of products that will be on show at BWA. “From body scrubs and polishes to body foods, the BWA forum allows the showcasing of innovation in the beauty industry,” she said.

In June 2017, Naturally Tribal Skincare became a Commonwealth Export Champion for the Third Cohort of the CommonwealthFirst programme which champions SMEs. “We are now one of the 100 outstanding British businesses selected for the distinguished CommonwealthFirst Export programme representing some of the best in terms of variety of innovation and excellence that the UK SME sector has to offer the world,” said Ms Lloyd.

“Our business goes beyond the Naturally Tribal range of skincare products and now gives us the chance to make a real difference, improving the lives of women in Africa who make the high-quality shea used in our products. We are building infrastructure, employing local talent in Esan, Niger State, Nigeria, which will create a source of income for many locals through our trade and investments.”

Another returning international exhibitor is McBride Research Laboratories Inc., the US-based company behind Design Essentials Hair Care Systems. The Afro-American owned family business has been manufacturing and selling quality hair care products for textured hair throughout the Americas since 1990, but is now venturing across the Atlantic.

“The value of a trade show like Beauty West Africa is a key component in our strategy to grow our international business as it offers the prospect of connecting with potential trade to grow this area of the market,” said Sharon Thompson, International Marketing Manage EMEA at McBride Research Labs.

“BWA offers a viable platform to showcase our brand to potential distributors, professional stylists and hair care enthusiasts from across the region at one unique venue location,” she said. “Nigeria’s vast population and vibrant business environment poses huge prospects for our business model and industry sector.

“Our return to BWA year on year demonstrates our alignment with this understanding and just how exciting and promising the Nigerian opportunity is for our company. We are looking to Nigerian businesses as potential partners, especially those who understand the needs of the Nigerian clients they supply including trends, the business culture and expectations.

“We not only seek to build viable business through solid partnerships with distributors, traders and salon owners with the sale of their products within the Nigerian market, but there is a strong ethos of supporting businesses by way of investing in education,” said Ms Thompson.

“We offer training through symposiums and workshops to hair stylists on hairdressing techniques, the science of hair and hair products and better business practices. This demonstrates that as a company our business model is built on a two-way partnership and that we care about the business of those who invest in our brand.”


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