Business News of Thursday, 24 May 2018
Meet the CEO of Royal Divine Kente, a young lady building a strong brand in the textile industry of Ghana. She began her own textile business with just an Internet data and a social media page. She had an opportunity to buy Kente for her friend and that’s how she started her own Kente business. She’s provided Kente for the decoration of the President’s house and many more. Be inspired by her story.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Nana Ekua Tenegyaa Baffu. I am the only child of my mum and my dad. My mum is late so basically it’s just me and my dad. I completed KNUST in 2016 and read Bsc. Development Planning
What stimulated your interest in entrepreneurship and why did you choose this particular work?
Whiles I was doing my National Service at Kumasi Municipal Assembly ( KMA) , I had one of my colleagues (Godfred) talk to me about doing something in addition to the National Service that could earn me an extra income because the service allowance was too small and my needs kept increasing. Generally I don’t like to be a bother or a burden to people so I had to find a way of being financially independent and that was what stimulated my interest in Entrepreneurship. The reason why I chose this particular work was something I can’t pinpoint as at now. I feel the idea was given to me by God.
A friend of mine asked me to help her buy Kente fron Kumasi, that was the opportunity I had to start my own business. I went to the Kente shop and started asking for the prices of the Kente, I remember asking the man if it was a good business and he said very nice things about the business and that was what stimulated my interest in the business. I started comparing prices to what’s being sold online and I felt that I could make some money.
Immediately I took pictures of some of the Kente and opened an Instagram page there and then and just uploaded the Kente there and attached my number to it. And that was how I started this business
What are some of the services you provide? Any memorable project(s) so far?
We sell very Quality Kente cloths, rich local Beads, Ahenema(traditional sandals) and bridal fans. It’s a one-stop shop for all your traditional wedding ceremony needs and other occasions
My memorable project was working with the interior decorator(little sister of Her Excellency Rebecca Akuffo Addo) of the President of the Republic of Ghana. I had the opportunity to provide Kente for the interior design of the President’s office (including Kente wall hanger, Kente wrapped chairs,etc) and also the interior of the President’s house. Our Kente is being used as part of the interior decoration in His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo’s space.
Do you think entrepreneurship is the solution to some of the problems on the continent?
Entrepreneurship is indispensable. Every economy that has experienced rapid growth has done so because of the existence of a vibrant private sector. Obviously, private sector employment and the establishment of businesses represent the only hope of employment for the several tens of thousands who graduate from our various educational institutions each year. It’s definitely the solution to most of the problems on this continent
What is your vision for the next 5 years and where do you see yourself as an African entrepreneur?
My vision for Royal Divine Kente is to take Ghana textiles (Kente) and Accessories Worldwide. I want to give Kente an International value and standard. Royal Divine Kente will be exporting Kente in huge quantities to different countries.
I see myself in the next five years as the C.E.O of about 5 more companies in addition to what I have now. As an African Entrepreneur I see myself being known among the best in the whole world, thereby placing Ghana on the globe
What would you say is your biggest challenge as an African entrepreneur and why have you not given up?
The biggest challenge to me as an African Entrepreneur is the fear of not being able to achieve my goals.
I’m not intimidated by the loose talk of people concerning me and my business. I have not given up because I want to prove to all those who thought I could never make it that I made it. I want to succeed in my business and in every aspect of my life to serve as an inspiration to all the upcoming entrepreneurs to hold on because at the end of the day success is going to be theirs.
What gets you out of bed in the morning and what keeps you up at night?
What gets me out of bed in the morning is the passion to succeed in my business. I always imagine Royal Divine Kente reaching International and that imagination alone is what keeps me on my toes at night and in the morning, to put in more effort in my work to achieve that height in some few years to come. I’m always trying to find business ventures that is going to earn me income. I want to attain a certain level of financial freedom and till I get there, there is no sleep.
How did you fund your business and how difficult was it?
Funny enough I didn’t start with a cedi in my business. All I needed was internet data to upload pictures of Kente on the Instagram and on Facebook and that was it.
What avenues can upcoming entrepreneurs on the African continent think of with respect to funding?
It’s difficult getting funds to start a business. For beginners I would advise you take advantage of social media and not see it as a platform to have fun alone. There are a lot of benefits on the social media platforms which you can exhibit your talents and your products, and with proper branding you are good to go.
What do you wish you knew before starting your first business?
What I wished I knew before starting my business is the fact that when you get a business idea, you don’t have to discuss with anyone. All you have to do is to pray to God about it and just START. Most businesses couldn’t start because of discouraging words that came out of the mouth of people they discussed with.
In one word describe your life as an entrepreneur.
What has been your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration has always been my dad. He taught me a lot about business, the fact to never give up even if things don’t turn well for you and having a vision in every business you set up. His business stories really inspire me a lot. I want to be like him and even greater than him
If you had the chance to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have started with a proper branding and learn about financial management before starting my business because that’s the engine to every business.
What significant advice would you give African entrepreneurs who are launching out?
Business thrives on the Law of Exchange, offering of a solution to an existing or impending problem in return for a reward. These solutions are really ideas for sale. An entrepreneur has to identify a need and offer a solution people are willing to patronise at a fee. You need to build on this fact and make sure you add up more businesses to what you already have. I believe that we can all get to whatever height we want to get to. The word is DONT GIVE UP, nothing is too high to achieve.
Dream big and let your dreams scare you because no matter the time it takes to get there you are going to get there.