23rd May 2023

Daring to choose social and eco-responsible entrepreneurship

The entrepreneurial spirit in her DNA and her son’s diagnosis with multiple allergies pushed Ahoua Bakayoko to get started as a socially responsible entrepreneur by creating MissBak, a natural cosmetics brand. Happy reading!

Meet Ahoua

I'm Ahoua, the founder of MissBak, which is a social and solidarity-based natural cosmetics brand created in 2019. I have a degree in Natural Cosmetics, a master’s in accounting and financial audit, as well as a Fair-Trade certification.


The idea of creating a business

I have a 10 years’ experience in the financial sector. The entrepreneurial spirit runs in my family, so a career change always seemed like a possibility. What really marked the shift was when my son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum and with multiple allergies. It was the latter that made me become interested in natural cosmetics.

The stages of business creation


As a novice in the field, I pursued and still pursue training in natural cosmetics and fair trade. Thanks to my academic training and my years of experience in finance, the legal aspect of creating my business was not too difficult since I knew what to focus on. I also took workshops at the House of Entrepreneurship and participated in Nyuko’s very enriching and quality “Impuls” course. Of course, all of this has taken time and dedication.

At first, I was a part-time entrepreneur; I have been full-time since July 2020.

The institutions that supported me

The first institutions that helped me when I was getting started were

the House of Entrepreneurship, which offered guidance in creating my business,

Nyuko (the “Impuls” course),

the National Agency for the Promotion of Rural Development in the Ivory Coast (for connection with local cooperatives ),

the CGECI (Confédération Générale des Entreprises de Côte d'Ivoire),

the non-profit organisation CELL,

Transition Minett,

the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, which certified me as a social impact company, and a number of other players who have had a major impact on my journey.

A local and digital presence

I first launched an online shop to market my products; now, I am present in pop-up stores and artisans’ markets. I currently have a pop-up store at 120 rue de l’Alzette in Esch-sur-Alzette, in order to test a long-term physical presence for the brand.

The difficulties I faced in creating my business

The main difficulty was the financial aspect. Since launching my business, I have funded it mainly on my own and with help from friends and family. For someone starting a business, obtaining a loan is a real challenge.

The second difficulty was making sure the cosmetics met regulatory compliance standards. There is a lot of information available, but few experts with concrete and reliable facts. There are also a lot of subcontractors in the field with very high prices. It took me a lot of time and research in Luxembourg, Belgium, and France to find reliable information to make sure I was in compliance with European regulations on cosmetics.

The third difficulty was finding a location. With real estate prices being so high, it is very difficult to find a location that fits the budget of a new business owner, even more so in commercial areas with a lot of foot traffic.

My top achievements

My top achievements so far include obtaining certification as a “social impact company” and the “Impact Luxembourg” label. Also, collaborating with sheltered workshops such as Tricentenaire, and having the opportunity to share my experience with young volunteers from the National Youth Service Corps and Rise Luxembourg.

Another achievement that I consider very important is having shared my knowledge with all generations, from the very young to the elderly, through home cosmetics workshops. My workshops take place in Esch-sur-Alzette, at my clients’ homes, but also at schools, recovery houses, businesses, community centres, etc.


Obtaining the certification as a “social impact company” and the “Impact Luxembourg” label is amongst my biggest victories.


Ahoua's advice to future entrepreneurs

  • Patience and dedication in everything you undertake;

  • Listen to your clients, since they are the ones, you sell your products and services to at the end of the day;

  • Take care of yourself since you can’t accomplish anything or even think clearly if you’re exhausted.

Nyuko has signed a partnership with Spuerkeess, in order to foster entrepreneurial spirit and strengthening the bank's position with company founders from the start of their businesses. More info in our article: https://www.spuerkeess.lu/en/blog/experts-corner/nyuko-fostering-entrepreneurial-spirit/.