“Find your sweet spot, build a determined team, and jump right in!”
Linda Dempah is the founder of Adeba Nature in Cote d’Ivoire, a brand that is rooted in the existing traditions preserved in Ivorian villages. Adeba Nature is a West African beauty company that empowers black women across the globe by connecting them to their roots and delivering authentic products for them to take care of their hair and body.
Grounded in tradition, the products are 100% natural, vegan, and made with techniques developed over multiple generations. With operations based in the Ivory Coast, Linda and her team create innovative formulas by combining their extensive pharmaceutical background with traditional skills and knowledge, using locally sourced ingredients.
Working in corporate America, Linda Dempah H’20, a Harvard Business School MBA graduate, traveled frequently and led an active lifestyle. She paid little attention to the maintenance rules for her chemically processed hair and ended up losing it and having to transition to a natural style without planning to. Despite testing numerous products, she struggled to establish a simple routine with products she could trust. Her mother, an Ivory Coast-based pharmacist with 30 years of experience, gave her a mysterious oil to try. Her usually coarse strands became cotton-soft overnight. It was a life-changing experience. She gave some of the oil to her NYC-based friends who urged her to start marketing it in the US.
Adeba Nature was her next step.
With strong ties to her country of birth, the Ivory Coast, and access to a key product ingredient, Adjoba oil, Dempah set about developing innovative formulas that combine research with traditional knowledge and techniques developed over multiple generations to solve her own team’s hair and dry skin needs. Adeba Nature means “Chic, beautiful woman” in Agni, the language of the Sanwi Akan kingdom of the Ivory Coast. This was what Dempah wanted to achieve – to enable women to be chic and classy inside and out. When she co-founded Adeba Nature in 2017, her vision was to turn it into the first global consumer products company out of West Africa, in turn fostering women empowerment and lifting up her native Côte d’Ivoire.
Launched in 2017 with their operations in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Adeba Nature has developed a line of unique and effective dermo-cosmetics products that address a wide range of health and personal care issues. Thirteen products have been created to date with four more in the pipeline. The company, which started operating from the family basement, has since moved into its own factory and employs 20 full-time Ivorians.
Dempah has a BA Honours degree in Mathematics, Economics, and Computer Science from the Wesleyan University, Connecticut and an MBA from Harvard Business School. After graduating, she joined Ameriprise Financial as the Strategic Sourcing Director where she negotiated high-value contracts with IT suppliers, ran strategic projects, and worked alongside business partners to effectively manage and reduce costs.
She joined McKinsey & Company as a Management Consultant in 2015 where she served clients in a variety of industries focusing on operations excellence. In 2010, she founded Tropical Foodies, a food blog showcasing authentic recipes from the tropics, from Cote d’Ivoire to Haiti, Brazil, and Singapore.
In 2018, Dempah was the McKinsey internal new venture competition winner and in 2019 recognized as one of the 50 personalities and leaders to watch in Cote d’Ivoire’s first “Who’s who”. She was also the 2019 recipient of the Sisley Prize for a successful women-led entrepreneurial venture in the Ivory Coast.
We recognize you,congratulations Linda!!