Born in South Africa, Lotte Davis moved to Canada at ten years old with her family to escape the hostility of apartheid. Her heart, though, stayed behind.
In 1989, Lotte and her husband founded AG Hair in the basement of their Vancouver home. AG Hair is built on a strong ethos to develop professional products using naturally sourced, plant-based ingredients for the professional hair care industry. Today, AG Hair operates out of a purpose built, Health Canada and FDA approved building and is committed to manufacturing products formulated with healthy, safe ingredients and packaged in reusable and refillable containers. The growth of AG Hair allowed Lotte to realize her dream to return to Africa in 2013 where she began to build her not-for-profit organization, One Girl Can.
One Girl Can is built on three important pillars they call: We Build. We Educate. We Mentor. Lotte and One Girl Can have built and renovated one hundred and thirty schools (130) in Kenya to create safe learning environments. Each year, they mentor over ten thousand (10,000) girls to teach goal setting, career development, job training and leadership skills. When One Girl Can supports One Girl, they stay with her from the start of high school, through university, and up until she has found meaningful employment and is financially independent. This is how they measure their impact on gender imbalance.
Lotte is motivated by the inequalities she witnessed growing up. Her passion for ending poverty and gender inequality is made possible by working with an aligned team and a diverse Board of Directors in Canada and Kenya. Lotte partners with corporate organizations, foundations, as well as YPO, a global leadership community, and engages in focused fundraising that fuels One Girl Can through generous donations that directly support girls in Kenya.
“If you are not aligning your business with some sort of a cause, then you are missing a key component for a successful business strategy.”
On this week’s Startup Women Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Lotte shares the synergies between AG Hair and One Girl Can and why giving back can be a reward of success.