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Female millionaires Brazilian slum

Updated on May 7, 2016

Born and raised in a slum in Rio in the 1970s, ZICA Assis enough job to do for a living, from babysitting to 9 years old when washing and cleaning the latter. And Assis never could have imagined that, decided to go back to help her straighteners became the mistress of a company worth millions of dollars.

In a country where 43% were hybrid and 8% were black, Assis, like millions of other Brazilians, owning hair "Afro" (curly hair and long) characteristic of the Africans. Girlhood, Assis said she wants to earn the straighteners.

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ZICA Assis said his success than going up from the slums.
"Afro hair style was considered sloppy and dirty, so to be recognized as a nanny, I have to go straighteners. But I never get used to straight hair, I want to get back Curls and their identity, "she Assis, 54, said.

However, she can not find expert professional hair care pleasant to both keep the curls just makes the hair softer. Rio is not the time to sell the products can meet the requirements of Assis, she decided to do something on their own.

At age 21, Assis entrance exams for hairdressers for the purpose of understanding the structure of his hair and over again is to research, develop a method of her own hair care.

"I like your hair when wet, because then more malleable hair and curls and easy to fold over. This is the result I'm interested in your product, "she said Assis. It took 10 years and experienced many failures, Assis can find the perfect recipe for you.

"Rogerio's brother - who later was my partner, was the 'guinea pig experiments'. I used his hair to test the product. One time, I made him become bald. I also suffer from hair loss a few places. "

It was not until a neighbor sobbed compliment her hair and asked her shampoo is used, the new Assis knew he was successful. "That's when I knew I was going in the right direction. I have always been commended for a smile, for his happiness, but never because of the hair. "

She Assis officially launched its hair care products in 1993 under the name Super Relaxante. In addition to the sale of bottled products, she decided to open the first Beleza Natural salon. Here, she trained herself and guiding staff on how to hair care to customers.

To be able to do business, to find her Assis to 3 partners, was the brother Rogerio, her husband is Jair Conde and another friend, Leila Velez. However, none of them have the experience of running a previous startups. She and her brother Velez worked at a McDonald's store while her husband was a taxi driver.

To build up capital for his wife, he had sold Conde Volkswagen Beetle taxis - the only thing worth their time.

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She now has 33 top salons and 11 kiosks throughout 5 states in Brazil.
Since there is not much money to spend on advertising, they think of a business idea independent. They began by posting homemade posters on buses passing zone they live.

The way this ad is finally brought the first guests came to them. Thanks to skilful marketing words, just weeks later, women began lining up before her hair salon Assis about 2-4 hours a day before the store opened.

To meet the needs of customers, employees often must she Assis worked until midnight. Her business is also thereby thrive. Solar energy 1995, Beleza Natural salon first opened Monday.

By 2005, her company Beleza Natural salon Assis had 5 first. To maintain the quality and speed of service, she Assis applied method works as follows: each person will be in charge of a step in the care process consists of 5 steps.

Beleza Natural company even received investment capital and advice from business support organizations Endeavor Global. The assistance from Endeavor - a social organization in New York nonprofit Beleza Natural Helping growing fast and strong hon.Nam 2013 GP in Bermuda fund also invests in Beleza Natural.

Currently, Beleza Natural salon top 33 and 11 kiosks throughout 5 states in Brazil with 130,000 visitors per month. Super Relaxante thereby also become a famous brand. Also, Beleza Natural is also selling a variety of hair care products, such as shampoo, conditioner and hair gel.

Beleza Natural is 4,000 employees, but most of them are young women living in slums and 90% are the first to have a formal job. More specifically, every 3 employees Beleza Natural, the average over 2 who are customers of this brand.

According to Walter Sabino Junior - founder of Capital Partners investment fund Hi & Work in Brazil, the secret behind the success of her Assis was the passion and the needs of the market. "She invested in his passion, in an area where no one even looked his way, then manually create a very quality service. That is important for any business, "he said Junior.

But according to her Assis, Beleza Natural's success is mainly due to the 4 founders of the company are from low-income class, just as the majority of their clients.

"We value our customers and ourselves that, because all of us were from a class. We are the low-income class and we understand what they want. We are all aware of the problems that our customers are facing - that hair and self-deprecating. The problems that can affect personal lives and their careers, "she Assis share.

In 2013, she Assis honored by Forbes magazine as one of 10 most powerful businesswomen in Brazil. After graduating from a business college, she spent time teaching in the field of business both at home and abroad.

Although Brazil's economy is currently facing many difficulties but Assis predicted that the Beleza Natural's business will grow 13% in 2016.

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