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Mi Natural wins JSE pitch competition

Published:Friday | January 28, 2022 | 12:10 AM
CEO of Mi Natural, MeliaShen Morgan
CEO of Mi Natural, MeliaShen Morgan

Cosmetics company Mi Natural outshone two other companies in the JSE Pitch Room competition to cop $300,000 in grant funding to assist with launching its business.

The win marks the third competition that the business, which deals in hair growth products, has won since MaliaShen Morgan, its owner, started supplying close friends and family members with the product in 2018. Previous prize monies were used for product development and marketing purposes, but Morgan, the business' CEO, plans to pump the fresh round of capital into purchasing equipment to boost business for the Mandeville-based operation.

Mi Natural's hair growth system comprises a shampoo, conditioner, serum, scalp brush and a derma roller which, when used together, is said to cleanse, soften and promote hair growth in bald spots. The products are being targeted at individuals that suffer from alopecia, or hair loss, and those with receding hairlines caused by overprocessed or tight hairstyles.

So far, the company is only able to produce four bottles of product per day by hand, but with the needed machinery, intends to push that number to 1,000 bottles of each product per day.

“Over the past months we have been testing the product on some clients. The results have been great so far, and we have strong demand for the products and so, with the funding, we hope to officially launch the company in the summer,” Morgan told the Financial Gleaner.

The total cost to expand the operation will run some $500,000, 60 per cent of which will be covered by the cash prize. Morgan is seeking another $2.5 million to invest in production and marketing activities.

Mi Natural's products can now be found in pharmacies and beauty shops in Mandeville, Manchester; but with the expanded capacity, Morgan is looking to secure shelf space in pharmacies across the island.

“Our target for 2022 is to serve 1,000 customers in Jamaica with our hair growth system at an introductory price of $6,000,” said CEO Morgan, who is a civil engineer and has added organic haircare formulator to her professional endeavours.

The hair growth system requires repeat purchases quarterly, which could allow Mi Natural to hit $24 million in sales by 2025, according to projections. The cosmetics market in Jamaica is said to be valued at $500 million.

Over time, Morgan hopes to push the product in the Caribbean market before branching off into the international cosmetics space, which is valued at some US$92 billion. She runs the business with her brother, Shaquille Morgan.

Mi Natural goes up against local brands like Ettenio, and, on the international stage, Phyto and Rogaine.

“We gain competitive advantage from our organic ingredients, complete hair system, and biodegradable packaging,” Morgan said.

Mi Natural was one of three shortlisted companies that pitched their business plansat the JSE conference on Wednesday. Payment solutions company Solvania Technolgy copped second place, while castor oil processor Joan Miller Organisation placed third.