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Season 5 - Episode 4
The magic of entrepreneurship

Magatte Wade is the founder and CEO of Tiossan, a high-end skin care products line based on indigenous Senegalese recipes and ingredients. Born in Senegal and educated in France, she launched her entrepreneurial career in San Francisco. She has spoken at dozens of universities including Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and MIT, and at global conferences on innovation and economic development.

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The American Dream is not just for Americans. It calls to people around the world, and it called to Magatte Wade in France. It eventually led her to success working as a head hunter in Silicon Valley. “What I was blessed to experience during that time was this magic of entrepreneurship, this amazing ability to create something literally out of nothing.”

But how could she reconcile the life of abundance she was living in the United States with the life of scarcity people were living in her home country of Senegal? The answer involved bringing the magic of American entrepreneurship to Africa, as she describes in this illuminating interview.

After making a promise to herself to help get Africa out of poverty and into prosperity, Magatte Wade visited Senegal and found that bissap, a local drink made from hibiscus, had been all but replaced by international soft drink companies. She decided to revive the bissap industry with an eye to selling the beverage in America… and put 7,000 women back to work in the process.

Having now moved on to the world of high-end skin care—still manufactured in Africa, using African ingredients—she is taking on a new challenge: “What I’m doing now is a product made in Africa that’s catering to a bigger problem in the world.” Her latest product, SkinIsSkin, is “the little lip balm on a mission to end discrimination.” It’s a big dream, but Magatte Wade is used to making big dreams come true.

Links of interest

Magatte Wade | TED Speaker

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