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Olamide Olowe educates people on how to access funding at AFRICON

The owner of Topicals is known for being the youngest Black woman to gain $2 million in venture funding
Olamide Olowe educates people on how to access funding at AFRICON
Photo courtesy of Topicals

Olamide Olowe, 26, is the CEO and founder of Topicals, which is known for its plant-based skin care products featuring masks, creams, serums, and more. As a mental health advocate and skin enthusiast, Olowe became the youngest Black woman to raise two-million dollars in venture funding through her social platform.

Olowe is looking forward to teaching people how to do the same at AFRICON which will be held on May 25-28 in Los Angeles.

As the founder of Topicals, what have you learned through your entrepreneurial journey that you apply today? 

I think that when you are creating something that you deep down feel should exist, but you don’t exactly know how to do it, you make a ton of mistakes. Especially when there aren’t a lot of people who look like you that you can look up to, to get all the advice from. I was fortunate to have worked at Shea Moisture and had that, but you know business changes literally every year, every day.

I think the first big mistake for us was focusing so much on the product and not as much on community building. That’s what I tell a lot of people, that people complain about not having capital or not having resources to launch a product, but I always tell them that community building, especially on the internet like TikTok and other social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, are pretty much free outside of the time that you have to invest. Making content by sharing a space for people to commune is probably the number one thing you should do before even thinking about a product, that way you can build a product alongside that community.

What are you most looking forward to at AFRICON?

I’m just looking forward to communing with people. I think so many of my friends are coming into town this week, to either host or speak on panels, or just enjoy the festivities. I think it’s so amazing to commune with people who look like you from across the diaspora because they bring so much rich culture and heritage. That’s number one, what I’m looking forward to and I think the second thing is looking forward to learning from the other speakers.

As I spend more and more time in business, I realized that regardless of the industry, there are tips and tricks that we can all use to help each other and to help ourselves in our own businesses. [I’m] excited to learn from music and fashion. Some of the gems that I hope to drop are on how we create access to different modes of funding. I think right now, everyone is excited about venture capital, because it’s some of the most abundant capital, but it’s also really hard to access. So, trying to figure out how we create new business models and how we create new ways to fund businesses because there is not a lack of talent or skills in communities of color across the diaspora. What the issue is, is a lack of access to resources and a lack of access to capital. [I’m] excited to brainstorm with folks over the week on how we get more access.

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