Zambian business women selling online to grow their businesses

Sara Drawwater
Proudly Zambian
8 March 2021
To celebrate International Women’s Day we feature two business women selling their products through We asked them why they choose to sell online, why more women should embrace ecommerce, what women should challenge in 2021 and why women should buy their products.

Ms Rafal Elamine, Founder, Dream Cosmetics

The general global trend is a new at-home economy. “The coronavirus pandemic is fuelling the growth of the stay-at-home economy. How consumers learn, work, shop and play is poised to change forever.” (World Economic Forum).

Seeing this trend, Dream Cosmetics are embracing ecommerce and positioning themselves for the future. We wrote more about the changes in the beauty industry in our article 'Digital beauty and the at-home economy — what this means for Zambia'

Dream Cosmetics have positioned themselves as a wholesale suppliers of brands that have been professionally formulated to meet the specific needs of African people. They supply well loved brands like Day by Day, Dermaskin, Hydralux, Babiya, BabyMed, Boudchou, Clairmen, Soin Main, Soin Levres, Soin Anti Moustiques and Aqualis. These products are also available for retail purchase on the Dream Cosmetics online shop.

Online shopping is not yet fully accepted in Zambia. As one of our early adopters you are choosing to challenge the status quo by selling Dream Cosmetics on Why is this? Although online shopping is yet to be accepted and used in Zambia, we insist to take part in the online business because this is definitely the future of trade. Regardless of the different timelines of different countries, we know that one day online trading will be as common in Zambia as it is in other countries. Life changes and events such as the unfortunate pandemic of COVID 19 reminds us why we need to have several plans and options for life continuity.

How do you think buying and selling online could benefit women in Zambia? Online businesses generally builds tremendous opportunities, especially for women that might choose to be housewives or stay at home Mums, but who still want to be financially supportive or independent. Selling online can also offer women the opportunity to pursue their studies and further their careers.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘choose to challenge’. What do you think women should challenge in 2021? I believe that one of the main challenges is the lack of women in critical roles and positions of power. Although a lot has improved, we still hope for the time where women are equally treated. Women need to challenge inequality. We need to be treated equally to men when it comes to human rights and life opportunities.

Why should women buy your range of health, wellness and beauty products? Part of our vision is to deliver high quality cosmetics products to people of all colours, genders and socio-economical levels because everyone deserves the best. Secondly, although we are mainly distributors to wholesalers we work on projects related to women empowerment such as reselling upon convenience as an opportunity for housewives or less fortunate women to be able to be more productive and earn an income.

Ms. Febby Sambo, Director, Kunowa Essential Oils

The global essential oils market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% from 2020 to 2027 to reach USD 33.3 billion by 2027. (Source: Grand View Research)

Seeing this opportunity, Kunowa Essential Oils use indigenous fruits like Baobab, Mango, Moringa, Mongongo, Nsumo, Tamarind and Aloe Vera and turn them into essential oils. These can be used for personal use or as ingredients for the beauty and cosmetics industries.

We love the Kunowa approach too. They are organic, low waste and community focused. Believing that nothing should be wasted Kunowa buys waste products, such as seeds, from manufacturers of organic fruit drinks and turns them into essential oils. They invest in the environment and community livelihoods by supporting the planting of indigenous trees.

Online shopping is not yet fully accepted in Zambia. As one of our early adopters you are choosing to challenge the status quo by selling Kunowa Essential Oils on Why is this? We believe that selling on can give us access to a larger market size of local and international markets. We believe that in time more people will turn to buying online locally and we are ready to reach them through our online shop. When releases their international payment feature there is no reason why we can’t sell our essential oils to international customers. Embracing ecommerce is better than limiting ourselves to the customers who walk into a brick and mortar store.

How do you think buying and selling online could benefit women in Zambia? It could expose their goods to a larger market and give them access to goods that are not available in Zambia.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘choose to challenge’. What do you think women should challenge in 2021? I think women should challenge themselves to find new ways of producing and selling products that are fit for the international market. Women need to take the opportunity and expand their markets through online stores. This is especially true during this time of Corona Virus which is impacting retail all over the world.

Why should women buy your range of essential oils? Women should buy our essential oils because they are organic, natural and high quality. When used on the skin, they give a natural radiant glow. When used on hair, they promote rapid and healthy hair growth.

Buy Dream Cosmetics products online today

Browse the Dream Cosmetics online shop here.

Choose from 232 health, wellness and beauty products for women, men, children and babies.

Buy Kunowa Essential Oils online today

Browse the Kunowa Essential Oils online shop here. Choose from 11 different Kunowa Essential Oils available to buy online. All are K150 for a 100ml bottle.

Skin care

  1. Pinapple Oil
  2. Carote Oil
  3. Moringa Oil
  4. Aloe Vera Oil
  5. Mungongo Oil
  6. Java Plum Oil
  7. Ochna Serrulata Oil
  8. Nsungo Oil

Hair care

  1. Baobab Oil
  2. Mango Oil
  3. Mfungo Oil

Benefits of buying online in Zambia

Remember that buying online is a super efficient and safe way for you to do your shopping. No traffic, no queuing, no crowds of people, no time wasting. Access what you want, when you want it and have it delivered to you - hassle free shopping!

Plus when you buy from these local businesses you support a host of local beneficiaries like Kunowa Essential Oils, Dream Cosmetics and the people they employ; the people and businesses Kunowa Essential Oils source their ingredients from;, the people we employ and the vision we have to make ecommerce available to all business, no matter their size - see Shopbwana Free; the sustainable management of indigenous fruit trees as a result of Kunowa’s organic, low waste and community focus; and the supply of quality beauty brands to the local market by Dream Cosmetics.