Mentorship request:
Online Retail for South African Cosmetic Industry

Problem

Our biggest problem currently is product sourcing. We have had success sourcing products on consignment agreement in order t avoid having cash tied up in stock, however we have found that only smaller local brands are willing to work on consignment agreements with us. Larger brands are not necessarily interested to work on consignment agreements with us.

Another problem that we are facing is access to funding for operations. We have bootstrapped the entire development of our eCommerce platforms, and have since been able to raise additional funds from TIA to assist in the funding of our virtual reality technology development. We are now in the process of raising for funds to start operating, however this is presenting as a challenge as we do not have the necessary traction that investors/funders are looking for at this stage. We unfortunately don’t have any bootstrap funds available to fund the operations at this stage.

Request

We are looking for a mentor who has experience in the South African retail space (online retail preferably – eCommerce). Preferably in the cosmetic space, however this is not necessarily mandatory – general retail will suffice. We require assistance in understanding how to foster partnerships with major suppliers – essentially we want to adopt a model where by we house their stock on consignment agreement or an agreement whereby we do not have to pay for stock up front – which will unnecessary have our funds tied up in stock; funds that can be used for other revenue generating activities such as marketing. We have had success with this model in the past, however, we have found that only smaller local brands are willing to work with us on consignment agreements. We are looking for a mentor to advise us appropriate strategies for product sourcing.
Another key request is a mentor who has access to a network of funders who he/she can introduce us to in order to raise funds for ops.

Asked on June 22, 2020

Accepted Mentors:


 
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