The unexplored multi-billion beauty industry …an answer to youth unemployment?

The global beauty industry, according to Euromonitor International, is worth some US$670billion – an indication that Ghana can leverage this industry as it has recently seen growing interest among the youth.

From every nook and cranny pops-up beauty shops like hair parlours, skin care shops, nail parlours, spas, cosmetic shops which among others can be seen all over.

Quite disappointingly, there are no available and accurate data on the beauty industry’s value in Ghana.

However, available statistics on the industry’s value in Africa shows that it is worth some billions of dollars. According to market research firm Euromonitor International, the beauty industry in the Middle East and Africa is estimated at about US$25.4billion – with the market tipped to grow by 6.4 percent yearly over the next four years, making the Middle East and Africa the fastest-growing region in beauty and personal care products.

For example, the colour cosmetics sector – otherwise known as make-up – grew by about 6 percent between 2016 and 2017, rising from US$3.5billion to US$3.7billion.

Also, the African Independent reports that the cosmetics and personal care industry globally generates an estimated annual turnover of US$400billion, growing on average 4.5 percent annually over the past 20 years.

Current information from Statista.com shows that the make-up industry in Kenya is worth US$56.3million, Tanzania US$36.4million, Uganda US$29million, Ethiopia US$26.8million and Mozambique US$16.2million.

Nigeria and South Africa are the biggest personal care and beauty markets on the continent, valued at US$3.4billion and US$2billion respectively.

According to Goldman Sachs, the make-up industry is worth US$18billion worldwide and the US beauty sector is expected to reach an all high of US$90billion by 2020.

The worldwide skincare, beauty and cosmetics industry is predicted to be worth over US$675billion by 2020. In the UK, the beauty industry employs over a million people and is worth £17billion.

These statistics, no doubt, present a fine case for the private sector in Ghana and government to come out with programmes that will make the beauty industry attractive to the youth in order to reduce the high unemployment rate.

Already, many young entrepreneurs – largely featuring women – are showing interest in this burgeoning industry, with some raking in good money every day.

Checks by the B&FT show that it can cost as much as GH₵2,500 for a makeup session for brides to-be. Others have also come out with attractive packages for customers.

For example, some packages which include make-up services for the bride, her bridesmaids and their hair-styling go for GH₵1000.

Some also provide the service together with the products, charging GH₵1,500 and above. Others who also provide walk-in services in pop-up shops also charge as low as GH₵50 and above.

Speaking to some of the players in the industry, Rebecca Donkor – CEO of Make-up Ghana – told B&FT that the industry has enormous potential to grow in Ghana but a lot must be done by government, especially in the area of regulation to counter fake beauty products flooding the market.

“The industry is a multi-billion industry…However, the industry is making losses because we don’t have regulations in place to check the make-up products being flown into the country.

“If we had a system whereby there are stickers placed on original products, it would make it easier for people to walk into retail shops and purchase make-up products,” she said.

Another make-up artist, Emefa Kwashie – CEO of Jyijyi’s Makeover, a start-up – said the make-up business is a lucrative one but needs a substantial amount to set up; hence, interest rates must come down so entrepreneurs can access capital from banks and other financial institutions to grow their businesses.