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02 January 2020 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Anja Aucamp
Refilwe Xaba, the founder and CEO of Glolooks.

Refilwe Xaba, Senior Assistant Officer in Entrepreneurship Development at the UFS Centre for Development Support, is the founder and CEO of Glolooks. This Bloemfontein-based company manufactures and supplies an organic, natural hair product range.

When she first developed the products, they were for personal use. Xaba evolved from an intrapreneur to an entrepreneur. She innovated a personal solution into a booming business idea. It was only in May 2016 that she decided to go into business, following growing interest in the way she maintained her hair. “I officially started in-depth research in October 2015, after years of making concoctions for myself.”

Business and books

Xaba reckons that a research background is beneficial for growing a business such as Glolooks that has a huge technical aspect. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Entrepreneurship with a focus on marketing and is planning to use her business as a case study.

Her undergraduate, honours, and master’s studies, which she completed at Kovsies, contributed to equipping Xaba with skills to grow her business. She believes in balancing education and business. “I have always been commerce-orientated. If there is a problem to be fixed, I fix it. However, people are at the centre of my heart.”

Growing Glolooks

In 2019, Glolooks opened a salon in Westdene, where customers can receive a holistic experience above and beyond merely purchasing the product. Xaba says this is one of the ways her business is being innovative when it comes to creating relationships with customers.

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