Former Presidential candidate and businessman, Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah has shed light on how he first hit the big-time as an entrepreneur.
Responding to the question of "How he made his first million dollars?" at a Business Entrepreneurship Seminar held (on Tuesday, December 7, 2021) at the Zenith University College in Accra, Mr Amoafo-Yeboah said the bulk of his initial wealth that enabled him to venture into other enterprises came from the money-transfer business.Follow @Graphicgh
According to him, the idea for the business came in 1992 when he was having a conversation about sending money back home to his mother in Ghana with his former business partner, Dr Kofi Amoah in Los Angeles.
"...The question was, gosh I need to send money to my mom and the only way was through the banking system which takes a long time, or put it in an envelope and mail it, which can get lost or give it to someone who is going to Ghana and if you are lucky, it gets there," Mr Amoafo-Yeboah said.
He said, he found it curious that he could send money swiftly from Los Angeles to New York using the Western Union Money Transfer service, so they proceeded to engage the service about expanding into Africa.
Mr Amoafo-Yeboah said their pitch centred on convincing Western Union about the potential of Africans in the diaspora sending money back home to relatives on the continent.
He explained that at the time Western Union was focused on its expansion into Eastern Europe, so the company suggested that they (Amoafo-Yeboah and Kofi Amoah) should use their funds to develop the market and use the Western Union networking system.
It was however not smooth sailing when they pitched the service to the biggest Ghanaian banks.
Mr Amoafo Yeboah exchanging pleasantries with the Zenith University College SRC President, Gabriel Nadab Johnson
Mr Amoafo-Yeboah stated that banks including Barclays Bank and Stanchart turned them down saying, "the product was a product for the masses and we don't want them filling our banking halls".
He said their business was saved by their friend, the then MD/CEO of Agricultural Development Bank, Dr Yaw Korankye who immediately asked to sign the deal after hearing their pitch.
"And from that signature, that product, the Western Union product, became the biggest and most profitable product for the Agricultural Development Bank," Mr Amoafo-Yeboah said.
"From Ghana, we moved to Nigeria, to Kenya, to Ethiopia, to Uganda, to Eritrea, Zambia, until Western Union decided enough, we will continue ourselves".
Mr Amoafo-Yeboah said from there he went on to do other things including setting-up IZone Limited, the biggest distributor of MTN airtime in Accra.
The Chairman of IZone Limited, Mr Amoafo-Yeboah said the company was formed from the amalgamation of five major distributors in the market 10 years ago.
A former Petroleum Engineer, he is also the Chairman of Blue Cloud Limited, Chairman of Gudu Studios Limited, Chairman of Gudu TV and Chairman of Gudu Tech.
Mr Amoafo-Yeboah contested the 2008 Presidential election as an independent candidate and is the Captain of the Achimota Golf Club in Accra.