The Upper West regional capital Wa is known for its various tourist sites. There are hundreds of visitors who troop to the city every year. It’s there you will find the Nuoyong Empire Hotel, one of the most popular in the city.
Nuoyong is owned by entrepreneur, Stephen Mwinkaara. He left his corporate job 4 years ago to start his own business.
Stephen had never thought of being an entrepreneur, but growing up in a poverty stricken environment, his determination in life was to succeed.
“Getting a meal a day was a challenge. I went to some of the country’s best schools but all those years were challenging. My father did not have enough money to give me some of the things I wish I had as a child”, he told Justice Baidoo on the BUSY 4G- sponsored Joy Business Van.
Stephen determined that he would give his children what his father couldn’t give him. He believed education would propel him to the status he wanted to attain in life and it did.
Before he started his own business, he was the Head of Agribusiness Development at Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited. However his motivation for business came up when he was working for TechnoServe.
“I became a business advisor at TechnoServe. This made me read books around businesses to be able to advise clients who were mostly in the rural areas.”
As part of Stephen’s job, he had to look for business opportunities for his clients. He began to notice how much money his clients would make after they took his advice.
Stephen then began to develop an interest in doing business. He discovered a good business idea when he started his own building project. He couldn’t acquire the materials in Wa. He would head down south, all the way to Kumasi to purchase the materials he needed. He decided to sell building materials. Soon, he would decide to set up a hostel too.
“In a few months when the foundation [of the building] was done and I didn’t have money, I said to myself let me slow down and convert this into a hotel”, Stephen recounted.
Stephen opened the hotel in 2015. It took about 13 years to complete the project. Today, Nuoyong Hotel does about 60 percent of the bookings in Wa. It’s just like any world class hotel.
“Primarily I wanted to offer something not just for the people in Upper West, but for people who come here to enjoy world class standards,” he added.
The Nuoyong owner is bent on making a contribution to the development of the region in which he was born and help create jobs especially for the youth.
Stephen believes there are so many opportunities in the region that are yet to be tapped. He sees them every day and he is determined to pursue them.