Tell us about Nandi Nicole.
Nandi Nicole is a service-oriented, delivery only retailer that prioritises premium hair, skin and health products for the Afrocentric community. Our intent is to bring a fresh overhaul to this retail segment by centralising the best-in-class products under one house and solving the commercial retailer shortage. We will promote responsible beauty and self care brands, deliver information that is lacking on the high street, provide a steady range of products and intelligently support the buying process using smart language and segmentation technology. Nandi Nicole is inclusive, energetic, contemporary and edgy. We aim to provide wider access to the brands that commit to loving us right back.
Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?
I joined this coalition to be apart of a local network of Founders whereby we can create and cross pollinate our ideas, resources and energy as rising business owners. I also feel it is a great privilege to gain access to the insights of the business development experts across Foundervine and Barclays.
What would be your desired outcome from this programme?
I would like to come out of this program evermore prepared to lead my entrepreneurial journey. I am confident that I will be amongst a highly intelligent and talented class, for which I hope to gain some long term associates in business.
Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?
Angel Rich. I remember first reading about her perseverance to launch her first app Credit Stacker. As impressive as her qualifications were, people undervalued her when she was an employee and then again as an entreprenuer--it's a quintessential underdog success story. When investors declined to back her product, she launched anyway--and this was at a time that pre-dated acknowledgement and support for minority and female access to funding. She was literally in a league of her own back then. She's a trailblazer and her work continues to further close the opportunity gap. I admire that.
What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?
Keeping a tight purse. I've been most proud of what I have been able to accomplish thus far by taking an ingenuity first approach to resource spending. There have been a few times where I have replaced having to pay someone else a fee with commiting myself to some extra sweat equity and creativity to bartering or figuring it out for myself. I don't advise that for everything, but sometimes with a little research you learn the barrier isn't all that much a barrier beyond your own capabilities.
And your biggest challenge?
Capital raising, at seed stage and coupled with Covid, is very difficult--almost impossible. I've had to modify my financial plan four times and am now launching with savings and help from private resources to get off the ground. It wasn't my plan and isn't a perfect one-source arrangement but it will work. I am betting on myself which is enough security for me.