Nahla Omer Zayed Baraka is an entrepreneur from Sudan. She is the Founder & CEO of Sukar Cosmetics, a natural skincare brand that produces natural, safe, and effective products that encourage young women to love their natural beauty. It uses high-quality, locally sought raw materials and the best international ingredients designed with the most innovative methods by a certified, talented pharmacist.
Nahla is a certified pharmacist who graduated from the University of Khartoum and held a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Technology. These studies had made the difference for her when she decided to launch Sukar Cosmetics after fixing her own personal skin problem.
Coming from a scientific background, she knew she needed a new kind of skills to make her business succeed and become a real entrepreneur. That’s why she decided to join the 1st edition of the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship in Khartoum, in partnership with the University of Medical Science and Technology.
“I joined the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship because developing a business requires academic knowledge and modern knowledge to keep pace with the rapid development of the world around us and also to expand the knowledge network and to open new opportunities through Africa and the world.”
She is more than satisfied with what she has learned through the MBA, and now Sukar Cosmetics is growing more and more. But let’s learn a bit more about this wonderful skincare brand!
1. How was your Business Idea born?
Sukar cosmetics were born simply because of a pimple on my face. I suffered from acne and hyperpigmentation so, after many trials of different products from the market, I decided to make my own products. As a pharmacist, I utilize my knowledge. I started treating my face as an experimental lap for testing products. After three months, I succeeded in making a product that fixed my skin problem and got me flawless, bright skin. My family and friend started to ask me what I used for my skin and requested that I make it for them. I then saw a business opportunity appear, so I decided to make more product lines and start Sukar Cosmetics.
2. How can your business improve the life of the beneficiaries of your activities?
When I started my business, I had dark skin, which I love. Still, it was becoming common in our local community to use bleaching products to gain white skin, which I always advocate against. This practice deteriorates women’s health in the long and short term and directly affects their self-esteem and mental health. I started this brand to provide natural, safe and effective products that encourage young women to love their natural beauty.
We always use #BeautifulAsYouAre on our social media to encourage young women to love their natural beauty, and I believe that with knowledge, people would make conscious decisions, so we share a lot of information about natural ingredients and their benefit on skin and hair, and body health in general.
3. What has been the main challenge you had to overcome in your entrepreneurial experience?
I started Sukar Cosmetics with a small capital, so the challenge in the early-stage phase was to validate the main value of my products with minimum cost, so I focused on the core value of the products themselves. I started Sukar Cosmetics before the revolution, so Sudan was under US sanctions that affected Sudan’s business environment very badly. I couldn’t sell my product online outside Sudan or order my raw material directly and pay online. It was a marathon trying to find a parallel solution to fix the problem, which consumed time and came at a high cost.
4. In your opinion, what are the main qualities an entrepreneur should have?
An entrepreneur should be optimistic, visionary, persuasive, and always go out of his comfort zone.
5. Is there a person you are inspired by, i.e., an entrepreneur or a particular mentor?
There is no particular entrepreneur or specific successful story, but I always read and study successful startup stories to learn from them.
6. What would you suggest to a newborn entrepreneur?
Execute your business idea with what you have now, test and validate your concept, and iterate. This is the best way when you start with small business capital. Always follow your instinct and passion.
7. Could you tell us a particular satisfactory moment you had in your entrepreneurial activity?
When I got a call from a customer who explained how much she loves Sukar Cosmetics’ products, comparing the brand with class A international brands.
8. Could you tell us how the MBA has helped you and your business?
The Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship was one of the best decisions to help scale up my business. The subjects we studied were a perfect fit for what I needed, simple and direct to the point.
Learn more on Sukar Cosmetics
Facebook page: @Sukar.Cosmetics
Instagram page: sukar_cosmetics