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Entrepreneurs share experiences on MTN Ghana’s Pulse “Just Be Series”

BY: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Mr Kelvin Agyei Darko (left), CEO of AJ Vanush Shoes, Ms Priscilla Korshie Sherrie, (2nd left) Founder, Love Kitchen and Delivery Guys, Mr Anthony Owusu Ansah, (2nd right), Founder and CEO, ShaQ Express, and Mr David Dei (right) moderatior during the Just Be Series
Mr Kelvin Agyei Darko (left), CEO of AJ Vanush Shoes, Ms Priscilla Korshie Sherrie, (2nd left) Founder, Love Kitchen and Delivery Guys, Mr Anthony Owusu Ansah, (2nd right), Founder and CEO, ShaQ Express, and Mr David Dei (right) moderatior during the Just Be Series

Some Ghanaian young entrepreneurs have urged their peers to explore their potential by starting a side business/side hustle as a means to improved and secured livelihoods.

They shared that experience /capability was meant to be used, acted upon and shared, but not stifled.

During the 2021 edition of MTN Ghana’s Pulse “Just Be Series,” on Thursday June 17, 2021, the young entrepreneurs deliberated that engaging in side hustles guarantees financial security and fulfillment, and helps build valuable network, among others.

A side hustle is generally freelance or piecework in nature, providing a supplemental income. Side hustles are often things a person is passionate about, rather day a typical day job work.

Sharing their experiences on the topic, ‘The Side Hustle Wahala,’ Ms Priscilla Korshie Sherrie, Marketing Lead, Dream Oval Ltd (a multinational fintech company), said she founded Love kitchen (a philanthropic foundation) and Delivery Guys (courier and ecommerce) as side hustles, and said it was tough managing them.

She said she plans her day to avoid being overwhelmed with other activities.

“I have learnt to take it a day at a time. I have allocated time for every activity. What I realised is you need to be time conscious, and self-discipline to be able to manage these things,” she said. Priscilla said her foundation as an entrepreneur was inspired by her father who is an entrepreneur.

Beyond that, she started some businesses but stopped because she could not handle them and one failed. She said her experiences from the above has helped her to be more solid with the current ones.   

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The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ShaQ Express, a technology-driven courier company, Mr Anthony Owusu Ansah, said it hasn’t been easy combining two or more work at the same time.

He recalled that initially he struggled to manage the side hustles both jobs because he is naturally meticulous about any venture.

“I am the kind of person that pay attention to one thing for a longer period and so, adding another work to the already existing one was a tough decision. The first four months was really difficult with sleepless nights because I needed to understand the system,” he said.

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Challenges

Mr Owusu-Ansah He said he faced challenges from family and friends, they felt they should purchase his services but on their own pay roll because familiarity has set in, and payment becomes a problem. And in one way or the other, if you are not determined you can fail.  

On his part, the Founder and CEO of AJ Vanus Shoes, Mr Kelvin Agyei Darko, said he had never been formally employed before and nurtured the thought of working for himself way back in the university, and said it came with a lot of challenges.

He started his business at level 100, went through apprenticeship and had the challenge of convincing his parents to do so. Combining it with academic work was also a huge challenge.

“My main drive was to stick with this to ensure that we change the narrative of made-in-Ghana products are not good and substandard. The main challenge is you know you have books to read you leave lectures, go to the factory and workers are nowhere to be found,” he recalled.  

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Time management

They revealed that managing one’s time as an entrepreneur was the key to success.

For Priscilla, she enrolled in many entrepreneurial courses which have helped her greatly.

The entrepreneurs debunked the assertion that most entrepreneurs do not rest for fear of losing out or being regarded as weak and lazy.

Anthony said sleep was a must for him and was scheduled.

“It has been a routine but the challenge is you mind keeps working and if care is not taken you will still be thinking about work and stay awake. When you get enough rest, you are able to plan and strategise,” he said.  

Kelvin said hustlers and entrepreneurs should know the difference between sleeping and resting.

“One has to schedule a time for resting and sleeping. One shouldn’t supersede the other,” he said.  

Priscilla said entrepreneurs needed to sleep and rest their minds to give their brains the needed time to develop new and innovative ideas.


Accessing capital

Kelvin said saving was his passion and had helped him in his entrepreneurial journey.

“I believe in the saying that "heaven helps those who help themselves. If you go to someone for help you should be already prepared and you will be seen to be serious person.”

“It also important to spending only after making profit and not vice versa,” he said.

Priscilla also shared she relies on her networks, try to build good relationship with influential people in the society and be diligent in her venture.


Advice

The entrepreneurs advised their peers to do a self-analysis of their entrepreneurial potential and determination before they embark on any business venture.

Kelvin advised that entrepreneurs were also bound to fail but that should not be the end, they should persevere to reach their goals.

Anthony urged young entrepreneurs to try to develop ideas and come up with their own business modules to enhance their marketability.

Priscilla also urged young entrepreneurs to avoid the euphoria around their businesses and focus on success.


The MTN Pulse  

The 2021 edition of MTN Ghana’s Pulse “Just Be Series” was streamed on social media pages of MTN.

It is an empowerment program that targets the youth and it is part of the MTN Pulse initiative to empower and groom the youth to be business-oriented.

It is also being organised as part of activities to mark MTN’s 25th anniversary.

The Chief Marketing Officer of MTN Ghana, Mr Noel Kojo-Ganson, encouraged all young entrepreneurs to join the conversation to learn new ways of growing their businesses using digital options and also build skills to deal with the challenges of entrepreneurship.