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10 Most Inspiring African Women Entrepreneurs

Tara Fela-Durotoye pioneered the African beauty industry when she founded House of Tara International in her living room in Nigeria.

The founder and CEO of House of Tara International, based in Lagos, now leads a network of makeup studios, stores, and workshops in Africa. She has also launched beauty brands focusing on women of color.

Tara Fela-Durotoye was a 20-year-old law student when she took the first steps to create her beauty brand in 1998. She had already started beautifying brides in her own home when a friend suggested turning her love of cosmetics into a business.

In 2013, Forbes listed her one of the “20 Young Power Women In Africa”, and she has reaped awards at home and abroad.

Today, as a 39-year-old businesswoman and a mother of three boys, Tara Fela-Durotoye mentors young women to follow her footsteps. According to her personal website, some 1,500 women have graduated from her makeup school.

Of her success, she says she owes a lot to what she has learned from her doting father and her stepmother.

“She is the one who gave me the passion for cosmetics and beauty, because she was extremely fashionable and liked to look beautiful. She was in a salon every weekend, having her nails polished,” Tara Fela-Durotoye recalled in CNN’s African Voices program in 2017.

“Sometimes I would sit down as a little girl and polish her toenails as well,” she said.

Sometimes I would sit down as a little girl and polish her toenails as well,” she said.

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