Episode #160: Interview with Magatte Wade

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Ron and Ed interviewed the dynamic Magatte Wade. Magatte is the founder and CEO of Tiossan, a high-end skin care products line based on indigenous Senegalese recipes and ingredients. Tiossan products are distributed via www.tiossan.com, as well as through selected boutiques and Nordstrom. Tiossan commits at least ten percent of profits to the creation of entrepreneurial schools in Senegal designed to develop the next generation of Senegalese genius. Previously, Magatte founded Adina World Beverages, with African-inspired drinks sold throughout the United States at retailers including Whole Foods and Wegmans. Prior to her departure from Adina, she assembled an executive team featuring a co-Founder of Odwalla, CEO of SoBe, and ex-co-Chairman of PepsiCo. Her latest company is www.SkinIsSkin.com, the purpose of which she explains during the show.

She came to Ron and Ed's attention due to her role in the documentary film, Poverty Inc. We interviewed Father Robert Sirico about the movie on Show #134, March 17, 2017.

Questions We Asked Magatte

Your background, how did you become an entrepreneur?

You upset the president of Senegal in your FEE talk, would you tell that story?

Near the beginning of the movie Poverty, Inc., you took on the 1984 Band-Aid song, “Do They Know it’s Christmas,” performed in response to the famine in Ethiopia. You say:

It perpetuates false image of Africa as barren, and a sentimental image of Africans as helpless and dependent. Africa has no rain, no river, and they don’t know it’s Christmas. One critic said "It was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music."

You then met Bono at a TED talk. Did you get through to him, because seven years later he admitted commerce and capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid? In the same speech he says, “But, we still need aid! Deny this and you’re brain-dead and heart-dead.”

Do you still believe Bono will leave Poverty industry? He seems to have one foot on each side.

The late Christopher Hitchens said: Mother Theresa was not a friend of the poor, but a friend of poverty. I don’t think he was right about Mother Theresa, but when it comes to the entire poverty industry exposed in the movie—foreign aid, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, celebrities, etc.—it seems to apply nicely. Do you agree?

One my favorite sayings is the German Proverb: If you want equality, visit a cemetery. Do you worry more about inequality or poverty?

The World Bank's list measuring the ease of the ability to do business in each country.

Magatte’s Companies

Magatte on solutions to poverty

Comment

Ed Kless

Ed Kless joined Sage in July of 2003 and is currently the senior director of partner development and strategy. He develops and delivers curriculum for Sage business partners on the art and practice of small business consulting. Courses include: Sage Consulting Academy, Business Strategy and Customer Experience Workshops. Ed is the author of The Soul of Enterprise: Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy, a compendium of a few of the episodes of his VoiceAmerica talk-show The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the Knowledge Economy with Ron Baker, founder of the VeraSage Institute where Ed is also a senior fellow.