The Enterprise: Natural Shea Care
Name: Manny Addo
Home Country: Ghana
Manny Addo is the CEO of Natural Shea Care (NSC), a Cincinnati based company that sells 100 percent all natural skin care products from Africa.
In this capacity he has placed NSC products in various stores in the United States including Jungle Jim’s International Market and 335 Kroger stores.
Manny Addo is also the Relationship Manager for Economic Community and Development Institute and in this capacity his provides loans and technical assistance to small and minority businesses in Cincinnati.
Manny Addo is also the CEO of Africa America Business Promotion, a company that promotes business between Africa and the United States. In this capacity he organized the first “Africa America Trade and Investment summit” at the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce in July 2018.
Manny Addo has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Xavier University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Cape Coast.
He worked as a Senior Financial Analyst for General Electric, Fifth Third Bank, Duke Energy, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and JP Morgan.
When was True Shea Founded?
Natural Shea Care was founded in my basement in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2016. We produce 100 percent ultra-whipped all natural shea butter and black soap products. Our products help with eczema, dry skin, split and brittle hair, stretch marks, itchy skin, skin burn, diaper rash, psoriasis, and dermatitis
In 2016 I realized the high demand for shea butter as a body care product in the United States. Ghana where I originally come from also has shea butter in abundance. I decided to connect this business opportunity by importing raw shea butter into the US to sell. In the beginning, due to financial constraints I will carry raw shea butter in my suitcase from Ghana to the US. In the early days I hand whipped shea butter in my basement on the weekends and sold them to Jungle Jim’s International Market.
What is your biggest dream for your company?
My biggest dream for my company is to have a jar of shea butter in every household in the United States.
What is your mission/purpose?
Our mission is to provide lasting skin and hair care solutions to our customers.
What does your company mean to the community?
As a company we continue to provide free products to the members of our community. During COVID-19, we have provided free samples of our hand moisturizer to front line workers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Mercy Health, Jungle Jim’s and Kroger employees to help with dry hands caused by excessive hand washing. We have also provided free samples to students and employees as Withdrow High School and Loveland School.
You could have opened your business elsewhere. Why Cincinnati?
I decided to open and keep my business in Cincinnati if offer a lot of help for small businesses through the African American Chamber of Commerce, Minority Business Assitance Center, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator, and Cintrifuse.
How do you define success?
Success is defined by the amount of people I am able to help improve their skin and hair conditions.
Natural Shea Care also donates its portion sales to help our golden women who tirelessly produce shea butter for us in Ghana. This donation helps us to provide clean drinking water, daycare centers, and good working conditions for the women. We are a Fair Trade company and pay above market prices to the women who produce for us.
“I’ve always been looking for a business opportunity that would connect Africa to the United States. I realized that shea butter is in pretty high demand in the United States, so I said, ‘What a good opportunity to make that connection.’”
Our shea butter is sourced from socially and economically disadvantaged women in Ghana.
As part of our fair trade commitment we pay above market prices directly to the women – no middleman.
In addition we contribute five percent of the fair trade price towards their community development fund for improving their working conditions and for projects such as schools, toilets and clean drinking water.