Heloisa Helena Assis who is also known as Zica Assis, is an entrepreneurial African in the diaspora. Zica grew up as one of thirteen children with no initial indications that should would become one of the most powerful women in Brazil.
Zica began working as a house cleaner and maid, and soon realized her calling after she noticed that there were no hair care products that suited her personal dilemma. Zica wanted to disarm her hair which was extremely curly, but she did not want to completely flatten them out either; she needed a new solution that did not exist at the time. As a result, Zica took it upon herself to find one. She became a hairdresser where she spent years developing a formula for a treatment?. As soon as the solution came to fruition, Zica partenered with? four others and founded the Natural Beauty Institute, also known as ?Beleza Natural? in a backyard located in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. Despite the humble attempt, it was not long before people were lining up for more of the product. Demand was soaring and expansion was the only option. Her products served a market that was largely marginalized when it came to hair and beauty products; at least??fifty percent of the Brazilian population is of African descent?or mixed race, but the local beauty?industry primarily focused on a European market.
Today Zica is listed among the Forbes most powerful businesswomen in Brazil. She was also listed as one of the ten new entrepreneurs in Brazil in 2006. In the same year, she was voted the Entrepreneur of the year in the emerging category by Ernst and Young. Beleza Natural is 20 years strong and employs over 1,700 employees in?at least sixteen?locations. The company helps other entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams by providing advice and offering consultation services.