Black Like Me: Creating a Legacy – Part A: The Source of African Beauty

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The first part of this case is set in 1985, when twenty-five year old Herman Mashaba and two colleagues decided to enter the ethnic hair-care market in a politically turbulent South Africa with an evocative name for their product and a R30 000 loan. The case consists of four parts, each presenting a phase in the progression of Black Like Me from a “back-yard” operation in a black township, to an organisation ready to enter the global ethnic hair-care arena in 2002. The case presents the background of the entrepreneur, Mashaba, and his dream of independence, the choices he faced as the new South Africa emerged and global competitors entered the market, the consequences of his decisions and the recovery of Black Like Me. The final part of this case is set in 2007, when after Mashaba has made a decision to exit executive involvement in the company and pursue black economic empowerment objectives.

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