Saturday, December 8, 2007

Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur

Been a while. I'm being inspired to post this blog because Kobby and I are in the planing phase of our new baby business idea. We hope we'll be able let you all know what happens to our business as we move from planing to implementation.

So this post is about finding within yourself whether you are an Entrepreneur. The following is what i came across in my reading.

Guts: Guts means you must have an entrepreneurial instinct, which is an overwhelming desire to have your own business. You must have the guts and dedication to be completely devoted to your goal. Incidentally, devotion to your goal is much more likely if you have a love for your intended business. Life is too short to start a business that doesn't give you satisfaction and joy. And, through good times and bad times, you will stick with something you love.

Brains: While appropriate educational credentials are important, entrepreneurial "brains" means more than scholastic achievements. To become a successful entrepreneur, you must have a working knowledge about the business you plan to start before you start it. Common sense combined with appropriate experience is the necessary brainpower. Prudence, follow through and attention to detail are very important.

Capital: You will need seed money of your own plus sufficient cash to maintain a positive cash flow for at least the first year. In a future session you will learn how to forecast future cash requirements through cash flow control. Many businesses can be started on a very small scale with a small investment. Then, as the business grows and you gain experience, cash flow from your business can be used for growth. In some cases you don't need starting capital to hire other people because you might start by doing everything yourself. The "do it yourself" start is a good way to learn everything about your business and also makes you better qualified to delegate work to others later on. You can control your risk by placing a limit on how much you invest in your business.

These three will get you going. If you are someone you always has an idea to make things better, then try putting one of them on the drawing board.

An advice, read, read all you can and everything you come across.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Introducing Ghana Business Code

The Ghana Business Code is introduced against the background of trade liberalization, globalization and challenges and opportunities associated with it.

Ghana business, by this initiative, appreciates increased international attention on Corporate Responsibilities (CR) and the 'triple bottom line' that emphasizes performance measurement of corporate, social, environmental and economic responsibilities.

The Code represents three Ps in another sense; a unique Process, a unique Product and unique Possibilities.

The Code is the product concerted effort by multiple stakeholders ranging from large businesses, state enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, business schools, trade and business associations, unions, financial institutions, consumer and other relevant organizations in both the public and private sectors.

What is the Ghana Business Code?

The Ghana Business Code is a series of prescriptions based on the universal principles referred to in the UN Global Compact 10 Principles, relating to human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption.

Compliance with code of conduct is increasingly becoming a requirement in supply chain management, business match-making, business mentoring schemes, financing, national and international procurement.

The Code is intended to present best practices by adding requirement beyond core labour rights. Although, not all human rights are covered, there will be a continues process of updating and refining the Code, which will include annual revisions. The Code does not substitute sound legislation protecting the interests of employees, customers, or shareholders.

Who is it for?

The Ghana Business Code is the first code ever formulated to apply to all segments of the national business community. Continuous strong collaboration between the stakeholders is crucial for the code to become a vehicle for improved business practice to the benefit of the people of Ghana; the stakeholders are committed to establishing awards and other enforcement mechanisms.

Will the Code add value?

The Code may serve to give guidance internally in a company and it may also serve to describe to the outside world how a business as an entity behaves.

The Ghana Business Code may add value to your business in terms of:
  1. Branding opportunity to attract foreign business operations and investment into Ghana;
  2. Potential of replacing costly individual supply chain management system;
  3. Increasing your ability to attract and retain the highest qualified employees;
  4. Increasing employee motivation and loyalty and thereby productivity;
  5. Creating brand value of 'best business practice' towards consumers
It is exopected that all business comply with the laws of Ghana; where laws or specific industry codes provide for additional protection to the one prescribed by the Ghana Business Code, such as protection shall also be ensured.

Download The Code

What are your views........

source: Ghana Business Code

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My First Experience

This is my first post in a while and it was actually inspired by an essay I wrote for an application. It reminded me of my first hands-on experience in ‘doing business’ the startup way.

This occurred during September 2006, two months after graduating form the university and was an exciting and sobering experience of how together with a couple of friends we decided to actual try out one of our ideas to see what it feels like to be an entrepreneur.

Since we were fresh out of school and habits die hard, it involved organizing a movie show for freshmen during their first four weekends on KNUST campus. The planning for this venture started in a small restaurant on campus as all the guys involved (including my co-author Justin) resided on or around the campus. The ‘meetings’ resulted in three objectives; obtain funds, organize logistics and market the shows.

To raise funds we decided to self-fund a portion of the budget and to collects loans from close friends with a promise of paying one-and-a-half times the amount collected, a decision stemmed from our ‘sciences’ background since none of us had a business majored in business. Funds secured we split into a three teams of two people each.

We defined logistics as seating, electronic equipment, printing and distribution of tickets. Although we capped attendance at 300 (we just chose the number), we booked 350 chairs, the extra 50 being a contingency. We ordered 350 tickets and obtained the electronic equipment by hiring some and borrowing from friends where available. We even had our own custom made speakers from another ‘entrepreneur’ who makes sound devices as a hobby.

Marketing of the show involved use of mono-chrome posters on all public notice boards and more extensively door to door or direct sales methods.

The venue, the most important of all the requirements proved the most difficult, as ‘entertainment’ is usually deemed as a distraction by university authorities and we were refused use of numerous ideal locations. We finally managed to secure the ‘multi-purpose’ Dining Halls of one of the Halls of Residence, with its attendant problems. We were granted access on condition the Hall Students Council were given a part of the profit, an agreement reached only in consensus with the Entertainment Head of the Council, another decision lacking of business sense.

We quickly gathered momentum since our perceived greatest obstacle had been overcome. The first day of the show arrived and we quickly setup seating and the electronic equipment, where quickly means 3 hours or thereabout. With morale at the highest, we decided to sell tickets door to door and use it as last minute publicity. We found a scheme where we went to the rooms of friends of freshmen who had already bought tickets and used their friends purchase as a sales pitch, which worked well. We didn’t have any generating equipment which meant in the event of a power failure, we would be left trying to power 1100Watt projector on sheer willpower. The time advertised arrived and only a handful of people were at the venue, panic slowly started to creep in and tempers rose, each identifying a possible source for the lack of attendance. Luckily it was only the lateness syndrome of students. We quickly started the show and though the attendance did not meet expectation the show went without any major hitches and so ended day one. On the second day things went on a similar note, but we had realized the pre-movie show of popular TV series increased the likely of people coming in and then staying for the show, so we started these 2 hours before the show and it increased the numbers on the second day.

We however encountered a problem where the rest of the council and the Hall Master decided it was against SRC regulations to allow a monopoly for concurrent use of the venue every Saturday and Sunday for 4 weeks and abrogated the agreement. We would only be allowed to do so every 4 weeks. We decided to take the lessons learned from the venture as such and quit the venture since our National Service postings would be in at the next available time for the venue.

The venture helped us experience hands on the problems associated with entrepreneurial pursuits especially where no formal or practical management skills exist among all the proponents of the venture.

In this case we were managed to break even but we realized it was due in part to luck. We paid back what we owed without the rate of return promised but what is a few cedis between friends!

Next Post: Last Minute Syndrome

Friday, July 13, 2007

BoG Website - As good as it gets!

This is just a 'flash' post to commend the Bank of Ghana (BoG) on their website. I had to find some information on policy and regulation issues from the BoG's website.

I'm impressed. It's professional, all links and features displayed work, a good array of information exists and overall on a scale of 1 - 10, I give them a 9.5. Maybe others may have an issue with my rating but understand that after visiting non-existent, badly designed and poor functionality websites of some major Government and Public Sector organisations, the Central Bank wowed me.

Check it Out!

Compare with

Ps. Don't just check out the home pages, try other links and see.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Book of Efficiency, Chapter One - Part Two

Part Two of this post discusses the issues that deal with implementing such a system in Ghana.

These issues I believe are best covered under definite topics (Policy and Implementation, Infrastructure and Human Resource, Uses) but you do need to forgive me if some of my topic areas and discussions overlap. Also I’m fighting a bout of Malaria (Round Two and no winner yet), so I was unable to get info on schemes implemented by our Government but I will update this post as and when I do.


I believe in all honesty that the greatest driver of GPC Visa’s success is the policy of the UK Government by pushing
General e-targets, that is, make as many processes as possible and feasible electronic
E-procurement, buy using electronic payment and purchasing systems
Efficiency, enact Prompt payment legislation.
The UK government therefore pushed out a broad agenda; Make these core areas in the operation of the Public Sector more efficient and thus better serve the people by making savings and eliminating waste.

Please name an economic policy that was promised and has been delivered. I can’t because the Government always uses vague expressions such as ‘Macro-Economic stability’ to talk to us instead of “the cedi will longer jump up or down so much but by little bits”. Yes! I remember The Public Sector Reform Ministry proposed an electronic punch card system and I also remember something about the Finance Ministry proposing some electronic accounting scheme for all departments. What have they done? I will update, websites anyone? Good Luck to ME!

Listen to your Boss:
The Treasury as the department mandated to oversee the economy, took up the issue and decided to find a way to implement these policies and help the other departments achieve their targets.

OK, His Excellency’s the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (I hope I got it right, they keep changing the names), you must lead the charge for better financial and economic efficiency among the other departments.

Test the Waters:
The Office of Government Commerce(which I assume is under the Treasury), started a pilot purchasing scheme around 1997, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and a few other departments. Based on the success and lessons learned, they launched on a wider scale and targeted the whole Public Sector. In both occasions Visa Europe won the strict EU compliant tendering process to execute the contract. Most of the information I present comes from this second contract starting somewhere around 2003 and implemented by Government Departments and Agencies (GDAs) (OGCb.s), Visa Europe and a consortium of Seven (7) Visa issuing Banks.

Sell the Facts: and the National Audit Office (NAO) pushed out the facts about the success of implementing the GPC Visa scheme. Each year an Annual report about the Scheme and the total figures in terms of monetary savings and efficiency and other Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are released on both OGCb.s and the Official UK GPC Visa website. These also help GDAs to compute their savings internally through standard values and figures. For example, a standard of £28 is approved by NAO as the savings per transaction.

Who is selling the facts about our policies to the people who need to use them? Have you been to a government site and read outdated information? I have, yet I’m sure the contract for the development and hosting of the site is honoured each month! As for answering an enquiry through the website, I won’t begrudge them, try most Ghanaian websites and the same results occur.

Please Don’t reinvent the Wheel!

This is one of the most important aspects of the information drive which insures the success of GPC Visa year in and year out. Don’t make the mistakes others made, use the simple approach and borrow from Best Practice. Several documents exist for new GDAs to use as a standard Guide to implementing the Scheme. Example; Her Majesty’s Government Procurement Card Best Practice Guide 2005(everything must be at the behest of Her Majesty, don’t you just love that!). All the issuing banks also have their own Guides for following. If you miss the path, it just means you really want to miss it.

YES! It has already been done. Another government has spent money and time, so let’s ask them to provide us with this information. We ask for money so why not research data? I have seen a number of tenders for consultants for Information Parks and E-Governance Projects. I hope they don’t duplicate information that already exists free of charge. I concede that some aspects must be relevant to only Ghana, but a larger part might just be general to all such projects. I got more free info than I can digest; imagine if President Kuffuor asks Gordon Brown!

CHANGE: Acceptance not Resistance:
GDA’s and other public sector organization must hate change as much as we all do, but some change is inevitable. The Public Sector has therefore learned to accept the scheme and embrace it. They have with open minds found problems and solved them in ways they won’t have imagined if they were bent on resting. This change in all cases came from the top. In some cases it poured down and sometimes trickled down, but it still came down!

Change is the single hardest idea for most people to accept on a large scale. In Ghana it is the same, but change we must. I want each and every one of us to imagine ourselves paying for goods and services with a card. No way! Yet it exists in several places, restaurants, supermarkets yet we have all chosen to ignore it because we feel it is just not us or worse we assume it just won’t work! If you have a VISA® ATM card you can purchase goods and services with it in Ghana TODAY. Do I do as I say? I use Ghana Commercial Bank; we don’t have VISA®, pretty good excuse huh! We all have one! CHANGE!

Data and Information:
Data: information, often in the form of facts or figures obtained from experiments or surveys, used as a basis for making calculations or drawing conclusions

Information: the meaningful material derived from computer data by organizing it and interpreting it in a specific way

I simply want to show that information and data depend on each other. You acquire data, make it meaningful and you have information, the most powerful tool available in the world today.

The single scarcest resource in Ghana is information (which means data is also scarce). A system that would allow a visibility of data on the performance and use of resource by Government and Municipal Agencies would certainly improve efficiency and governance. Going electronic would allow an easy capture and storage of date for interpretation by experts into information. Most critics of going electronic cite security as their reason for being against it. Does security stop people from buying $100,000 dollar cars and houses? No, instead they get a security company to protect their assets. Connect the dots!

Sorry Guys! It seems this is turning into a Mini-Series. Too many Mexican Soap operas I guess. HMM! Actually I think it’s more Ghanaian, any movie with only one part around.

I will provide all the sources from whence came this knowledge at the end of the series.

The Dilemma of a Blogger

Monologue: a long tedious uninterrupted speech during a conversation.

Guys, I seriously need for this to turn into a dialogue or to even know if someone out there (UFO’s welcome) reads this blog. Please POST a comment to let us know at least people read this. We need motivation. Thanks

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Book of Efficiency, Chapter One - Part One

Efficiency is the degree to which something is done well or without wasted energy, that is the productive use of resources.

Ghana as a nation as we are told by the Government lacks adequate resources for delivering all the services citizens expect and demand. I believe it is not just a ‘lack’ of resources but the inefficient application of the little we have which is the main problem. As the Government of Ghana tries to formulate and implement policies on e-Governance, using a Public Private Participation (PPP) approach in hope of improving efficiency in governance, let us together discuss successes and failures in improving efficient governance from other countries.

The Government of UK is promoting efficiency in Government Departments and Agencies (GDA) by requiring GDA to achieve certain targets in efficiency-targets and prompt payment legislation and also through the National e-Procurement Strategy.

This post is about a program introduced by the Treasury, in partnership with Visa Europe and a consortium of seven visa-issuing banks, which introduced a card purchasing programme called the Government Purchasing Card (GPC).

The GPC Visa programme was formally launched by the Treasury in October 1997 as a tool to purchase and pay for low value goods and services efficiently and cost effectively. GPC provides substantial benefits for users by providing a streamlined process for low value, ad hoc purchases. Improved management information allows users to monitor and evaluate purchasing activity and to collaborate with others to secure improved terms with suppliers.

GPC Visa 2005 in figures
No. of GPC Visa schemes in operation: 526
No. of GPC Visa cards in use: 70,078
Total spend on GPC Visa cards: £527,287,340
No. of transactions on GPC Visa: 2,882,974
Average spend per transaction on GPC Visa: £182.90
Monetary savings: £80,723,272 (Average of £28 per transaction)
Paper savings: 28,829,740 sheets of A4 paper

Top 5 Merchant categories of GPC Visa Spend in 2005
Travel 24.22%
Office Stationery, Equipment and Supplies 19.46%
Hotels and Accommodation 10.12%
General Retail and Wholesale 9.09%
Miscellaneous Industrial/Commercial Supplies 6.35%

It has been identified that in order for a GDA to implement the scheme successfully, three sections are involved;

 Senior Management should be the driving force behind the programme, pushing strong implementation practices
 Relevant departments such as Finance and Procurement should be involved as early as possible.

 A simple straight-forward process for purchasing, which must be relevant and convenient for cardholders.
 Cardholders must be trained in use of GPC prior to implementation and cards issued to end-users(the people who make the actual purchase)
 Relevant financial thresholds set to capture a large percentage of low value purchases with appropriate controls, but minimizing restrictions.

 Centralized policy / guidelines and a central competence centre used to disseminate Best Practice information and discuss common issues/opportunities and also share knowledge with other GDA
 Supplier strategy to devise recruitment strategies, assess the data and communication capabilities of suppliers.
 GPC should be used as a catalyst for change to re-think accounting and purchasing procedures to leverage the opportunities it presents.

The benefits of GPC Visa are numerous;
1. Prompt payment The City of Edinburgh Council managed to use a tailored web-based solution involving GPC Visa and additional software to reduce payment periods to contractors from above 30 days (which is the legal limit set by contractors before charging interest in Edinburgh) to 36 hours or 48 hours depending on the contractor’s bank.
2. Administration/Paperwork reduction; The City of Edinburgh Council expected to cover works amounting to about£13million in 2005 which meant about 14,000 invoices to be processed with a cost of about £65 per transaction. Using the solution mentioned above they processed only 12 invoices, 1 each month from their bank.
3. Better Management Information; GPC Visa provides management information (minimum being card number, transaction date, merchant details, currency of transaction and amount.) delivered in a variety of ways including the internet and tailored to the specific requirements of each programme. In the case of the Metropolitan Police (UK’s police service, aka The Met), which has processes about 6,000 flights per year, a significant portion being outside UK, this information is useful to The Met in knowing how and where there is scope to negotiate discount fares and find further ways to economise, a notable advantage with travel booking on such a large scale.
4. Empowers workforce; GPC Visa replaces bureaucracy and is a simple to use payment system which can have appropriate levels of control added, and therefore empowers end users utilising appropriate levels of control. Accountability is key with centralised electronic reports producing a clear audit trail identifying exactly who has made each purchase. Since each programme is fully customized the end users get to choose processes they want and are comfortable with and not someone else’s ideas.
5. Small and Medium Enterprise friendly; Significantly, GPC Visa allows public sector bodies to trade effectively with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are essential to the economic vitality of a locality or region. Increasing use of e-procurement solutions by the public sector is sometimes seen as a threat to SME suppliers. However, making Visa payments through an e-procurement system is no different from paying for goods online using a supplier website. Suppliers taking Visa payments are therefore more able to engage with an organisation’s e-procurement solution. Again this is mutually beneficial because the buyer receives greater control and spend compliance, whilst the supplier can retain their trade with the Government organisation by trading electronically.

PART TWO will delve into issues of the implementation of such a system in Ghana.

Monday, June 11, 2007

An Innovation Worth Noting -

An Internet facility that allows farmers and traders in agricultural commodities in Africa to transact their business through the use of mobile phone Short Message Service (SMS) has been launched in Accra. The facility, known as, is a website developed in Ghana by Busylab with an 11 million-dollar USAID support. It is intended to enhance trans-border trade between farmers and traders in Africa. The USAID support was provided under a three-year market information systems project meant to improve the regional agricultural marketing systems in Africa to help increase intra-regional trade in agricultural products.

The services of are completely free for users, except the normal sms messaging charges by the mobile phone service providers. Mr Mark Davies, the architect of the website, said the service was operating in 12 countries and 300 markets in Africa and in some countries in South America. He said the tradenet facility basically provided a platform for sellers in agricultural business to display their profiles and information on their commodities, prices and locations on the Internet, with the view to attracting potential buyers through the net. He said the facility also offered individuals and traders associations the opportunity to establish their own website within the tradenet platform at not cost to constantly display their commodities and prices.

"Potential buyers looking for a specific commodity only need to compose SMS message on their mobile phones stating the code of the commodity in question and the country from which they want the results and send it to tradenet number 911344' for Areeba users or 024649999 from any other network and get instant results." Mr Davies said traders could also register to receive regular SMS alerts on commodities from markets of their choice.

The tradenet platform comprises both regional and country portals. Regional portals display commodities and prices from a collection of countries from a particular region in Africa and country portals display markets in a particular country. It lists prices of commodities from local markets in various countries. For instance, it has prices of commodities from Nima, Agbobloshie, Techiman and other local markets in Ghana. He assured potential users that the platform was effectively protected from fraud.

Dr Kofi Debrah, Chief Coordinator of the USAID project, said since the introduction of tradenet, various participating buyers and sellers had chalked a trans-border trade value to 350 million dollars. He said the facilities had helped several farmers across Africa to sell their commodities to sellers outside their countries and therefore prevented their commodities from getting rotten on the farms. "This promises to be an effective means for Busumuru Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary-General) to realise his dream for food security and promotion of agricultural business in Africa."

Dr Debrah said the facilities, however, faced a few challenges such as the high level of illiteracy and poverty among farmers and traders in Africa, which made it difficult for them to acquire computers, mobile phones and even be able to use them. He said the project had therefore included training for the literate children of farmers and traders to assist their parents use the facility. Mr Hugh Dake, an official of ECOBANK, assured traders that the bank would provide the necessary funds for them to be able to trade among themselves more efficiently. A cassava farmer from Nigeria gave testimony of how she reached several buyers across the continent through the tradenet platform and recommended it to farmers on the continent.

From Ministry Of Communication Ghana

Will post more information on how tradenet was born in Ghana next.......

Innovation - A Social Response

So, for a few months we have been trying to get some ideas and information across. With the blogs on Ogua and Busy trying to get people started i realized that what this country needs is innovation. The problems we face as a nation in terms of growth are not ones we can solve with existing solutions like some sort of template we apply.

The PSI was a good idea but...... There have been others who are trying to bring something new into the system and it's not been easy. Might talk about some of these new but struggling ideas later.

Now to bizness, Innovation as i came to realize is the successful exploitation of new ideas, therefore one to solve social issues will be social innovation : innovation in response to social needs or challenges, typically diffused by organisations whose primary objectives are social rather than economic, and where ‘profit’ is re-invested. got this from Nesta.

A little change to the definition will best best fit our country. We don't really need to be creating new ideas. At least for the past decade all things techy are still new ideas to the country except fancy mobile phones. So there's no need re-inventing the wheel. We are a lucky country in that we are trying to develop at a time when information is around. Gone are the days when development ment bringing forth new brilliant and yet sustainable ideas in the field of economics, technology, agriculture etc.

Can we look at our past and pin point ideas that were innovative, most of them were implementations of ideas tried and tested. Africa and for that matter Ghana are quite unique. We need not a American speaker flying all the way here to organize seminars only to tell us how to apply the internet and ICT to attain our 2020 dream. A country that does not enjoy broadband and hotspots with everyone loging on and out might need a different approach towards applying the internet. This we have to find out for ourselves.

Enough talk, so what are our basic needs, according to Maslow , food, shelter, security are prime. And looking at these carefully which do we have. Ghana as a nation cannot feed herself yet we are pressing on farmers to export(IN: dolls And Pounds) and then we rely on business men to import foods again (OUT: dolls and Pounds). An innovation was growing rice and selling on our own markets, but hey what happened. Funny enough even the rural folks preferred 'Perfumed' rice. What prevented us from investing a little to upgrade our rice. Untill we match international qualities, which is what the people have been made to prefer we'll always loose out.

It's not enough labling it 'Made In Ghana', which one of us ever saw a local rice advert on TV. On the other hand the local gins and bitters are doing well alongside the cream products. These folks are obviously exploiting an idea but is it new? Nope, the idea of aphrodisiacs and skin beauty have been before i was born (2.5 decades)

So are we being innovative enough, if anyone knew how mobile phones used to be a luxury they'll understand what i'm driving at. The people needed to communicate and someone provided it. It didn't take long and it was the new definition of ICT.

This post is a calling, a calling to help move the nation by breading innovative ideas. I'll identify ideas i find innovative and post them. It's our social responsibility.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My Exams

hi everyone,
Officially i'm done with exams and will be great to anounce to you all that i passed all of it, and i'm moving a step closer closer to my primary dream (Medical Practioner). Will be posting all i've gathered so far and this time it's a long time till another exam so guess it'll be a spam. lol


Ps. Check the Blog Soon

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Job Hunt Saga

Hi everyone

This is an unusual post to this blog as there has usual been an attempt to abstain from posting personal activity unless it directly impcats the blog.This falls under that category. I've been Job Hunting and it has as such slowed down my research into the stuff needed to post here.

I'm discussing a review of the material we can post on this blog with my co-author today. I want to be able to post views on current issues ( which deviates from our original goals), so i need his consent.

I'll post our final decision here.

Oguaa Business Incubator got a mention on Timbuktu Chronicles, which is a really good blog on businesses in Africa so check it out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Oguaa Business Incubator - OBI

Hi, Before I start the actually post,I need to apologize for the inactivity on the blog for some weeks. I lost my primary access to the internet which happens to be at work for a while.

The previous post(weeks ago I know) talked about the BusyIncubator. This post presents the other Incubator program I mentioned in a previous post, The Oguaa Business Incubator (OBI).

The Oguaa Business Incubator - OBI derives both its birth and name from the “Oguaa Traditional Area” whose Omanhene ( Paramount Chief or highest ranking Chief in a Traditional Area ), Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, started OBI
to nurture an ‘enterprise culture’ among the youth and to create a temporary protected microenvironment for them to establish and grow viable small enterprises
The incubator accommodates both new businesses and existing small businesses which require help to improve on the business.

OBI provides the basics required to do as the Omanhene envisioned by providing businesses with :
A shared office; This includes office space and full secretarial and administrative facilities (Telephones, Fax, Computers, Mail Handling, Internet, etc)

Funding Process support; OBI provides technical assistance which improves the success rate of loan applications and also uses its influence to provide access to financial instituitions, usually Rural Banks to fund these startups and SME’s

Business and Legal support services; OBI uses a network of professionals to provide Legal (Business registration, Tax obligations) and Business ( Accounting,Managemen, product development ) services to startups.

Educational and Research Materials; OBI through links with Universities (University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast Polytechnic) and research foundations ( Gratis Foundation), provides access to technical material and research and also expertise, that improve the technical ability of the individuals involved in the startups.

OBI after operating for a year incubated the following businesses;

Xclusive Ventures Ltd was founded and registered as a limited liability company by two university students, Lionel Kafui Agyemang and Isaac Koli Ameyaw. Xclusive is a total Multimedia solutions provider, drawing from the superior talents of its founders in creating enticing multimedia presentations. [Details]

Iweb Solutions was founded as a sole proprietorship business by Mr. Samuel Parker Ekem, a graduate of the African Virtual University. Iweb specializes in ICT applications including virtual electronic payment systems, cell phone payments systems, e-marketing, and web hosting. [Details]

Artline Creativity founded by Dwight Ekow Acquah specializes in turning fresh thinking into creative solutions for its clients. Their services include graphic illustration, corporate design, image manipulation, web and multimedia localisation. [Details]

Jilac Company Ltd is owned and managed by Felix Adu-Poku and Kojo Asamanyi both professional marketers. Jilac specializes in Event Promotion, advertising and Development Communication.Their current clientele includes a number of district assemblies in the Central Region, some NGOs and SMEs in and around Cape Coast. OBI is supporting Jilac to develop a good corporate image and market itself to potential clients.
Contact Jilac through 024 4879759 or 042 25675.

Step Up Industries Ltd is owned and managed by two young graduates – Mr. Nazir Kizzie-Hayford and Ms Rakia Essel. Mr. Kizzie-Hayford holds a degree in Biochemistry from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, whiles Ms Essel is an HND Marketing graduate from the Cape Coast Polytechnic. [Details]

Arena Travel and Tours has been registered as a Limited liability company. The company has developed special programmes including:
home stay’ for African Americans to live with registered families (rural or urban). [Details]

Cleantec Services is a team of fully trained and proud workforce that undertakes professional office cleaning. [Details]

Sallet Events was founded by Ms Sally Torpey a talented events planner. She specializes in personal and corporate events. Sallet has been able to secure, plan and successfully organised several wedding events in and around Cape Coast. She has been able to employ three additional women with whom she works in addition to other service providers like caterers, spinners, etc that she engages on as and when basis.
Contact Sallet Events through 024 4609817 or 042 32803.

Contemporary African Arts Project Ltd (CAART) is into Repackaging of African Indigenous Arts and handicrafts in the areas of paper products, cane and wood products, ceramic wares and fashion illustration. [Details]

Opeku Ventures Ltd is involved in agro-processing (fruits and vegetables). Opeku has introduced its fruit juice called Cocopyne drink, a combination of coconut and pineapple juices. [Details]

Astibo Creations is a company that deals in all kinds of metal fabrications with a touch of class. These include burglar proof, indoor and outdoor sign post and billboards. [Details]

The links above provide details of what the incubatees had achieved or hoped to achieve in the start year. I am doing my best (REALLY!) to obtain the most current activities of the incubatees and any success or failures that have occurred since their inception.

I hope to post on other issues soon (I promise).

PS> For those of you wondering why my co-author who has usually been more post-oriented has not put up anything for a while……………

EXAMS! Before they allow you to become a medical doctor and perform surgeries and all that they put you thru HELL!!

I will be back.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Hi, everyone. It's been a while that i've been gone. Been up to the neck with my end of year exams in MBChB 1. that's first year clinicals man. It's not been easy. I start again on the 21st to 1st June. i'll try and post an article i started during this week then say a lil pray till i'm back on the 1st of june. Hope Kobby has been treating you all good.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Introduction to Incubator Programs in Ghana

This post is the first in a series of post by me that will focus on Incubator programs in Ghana. In researching material I came across two incubator programs in Ghana that are of interest, The BusyIncubator and the Oguaa Business Incubator.

The BusyIncubator is run by BusyInternet Ghana, with support from infoDev, which is a consortium of public international development organizations and other partners, facilitated by a secretariat at the World Bank, which is a founder of and major donor to infoDev.

InfoDev’s Incubator Initiative received special funding from the Government of Japan. InfoDev supported BusyIncubator with $300,000 as part of grants for capacity building for existing Incubator programmes around the world.

The BusyIncubator provides a physical location, technical and business advisory services and assistance raising funds.

The BusyIncubator to date has successfully incubated 5 companies. The incubated companies vary in the services and products offered, but are technology oriented which is the focus of BusyIncubator.

EVENT PmG is into the sale of unique Invitation Cards for all occasions including Wedding & engagement, corporate functions, anniversary, party and graduation.

A business offering the most comprehensive range of business services under one roof.

Childnet electronic publishing is pioneering interactive educational software development on CD-ROMs in Ghana.

Runway 14 (
We are a company of creative professionals working innovatively with technology. Animators, Copywriters, Designers, Musicians, New Media Artists, Programmers, Television Producers and Video Jockeys – Conceptual urban philosophers

Both infoDev and the BusyInternet site indicate there are 6 tenant companies. I have been unable to verify whether these “tenant companies” are also incubated (I sent 2 emails, waiting for a reply). I however think the 6 companies are just companies using the premises of BusyInternet as their business location.

These are
Data Management International Inc. (
EshopAfrica (
Interface Technologies (
Soft Internet Solutions (
Graphicolor, Ghana (

This incubator program seems to be destined for bigger things with the introduction of a virtual incubator, which aims to help other start-ups which cannot be physically housed on the premises of BusyInternet.

To end I wish to say I’ve decided to get up off my butt (Big as it is) and make time (OUCH!!) to visit the incubatees (CHALLENGE: See how many nouns, verbs etc you can form from ‘incubate’) and interview them for this blog.


(Click to Download a PDF about InfoDev)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Profile 0001 - Dickson Bandoh

Hello people, if you need an inspiration you should talk to this guy. What I say and plan, he's already practicing and he's pretty successful at what he does. This is the first profile. For all you who know him he's a changed man after Mfantsipim where i first met him.

I am Dickson kwadwo Bandoh, the second born son of an engineer father and a trader mother. I was born on the 9th of April some moons ago. I am currently studying medicine at the school of medical science, KNUST. I had my secondary school education at Mfantsipim, the only school in the whole country where letters simply addressed by the name without any postal address would not be lost in the mail. I must confess that the school has had a significant impact on my outlook on and my current attitude to life.

Personal mission statement

I have made it a quest to be honest, hardworking and humble and strive for excellence in whatever I do.


I want to be part of the new movement of young Ghanaians who are making a difference in whatever area of endeavor they are currently engaged in. I want to make a difference in the health delivery system by offering excellent world class health services at an affordable cost to people in the deprived regions of the country and West Africa. I also want to be actively involved in the education of the youth of the nation especially in the areas of entrepreneurship and personal development.

Driving force

I live my life by a set of beliefs.

  • That I am passing through this world only once and whatever I want to do, I must do regardless of other people’s opinions but my actions should be guided by my conscience and God.
  • I have a key role to play in the development of the health sector in Ghana and the rest of the continent.
  • I am capable of doing all things I can imagine, if I believe and work hard at it.
  • Human beings are so important, I must make each person realize how special he/she is and bring a smile to their faces and hearts each day.


I love listening to all genres of music- but I prefer reggae and jazz. I enjoy reading; financial magazines, motivational books, current affairs magazines and health journals. For story books I enjoy those in the genre of Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum et al i.e. espionage and political thrillers. I don’t watch much TV and the few movies I watch are usually “action movies” and comedy movies too if I make the time. I actually go out of my way to avoid soap operas; why should I watch stories about the lives of a group of people I don’t know anyway? I love challenges in whatever form they appear- running a few extra meters each morning, finishing a book ahead of scheduled time or planning and executing a program or event.


I believe my greatest strength is my ability to dream. I consider myself a fairly good listener and love taking calculated risks. I am training myself to be a diplomat- the kind of person who can relate well with anybody in any circumstance. It isn’t easy but I am working it out.


My major weakness I fear is the perfectionist streak I seem to possess that sometimes makes me overdo my actions and overspend. I am quite shy sometimes bordering on the timid but I am working on that. I have a few other weaknesses that I am working hard to overcome.


I have battled with myself over the issue of my religious belief for a while. I find it difficult sometimes impossible even to accept that there is only one religion and only the adherents of that one religion will live a “better” life in the hereafter. I was born into a Catholic family and have received the basic sacraments but I have always believed, quite contrary to my catechism, that all religions are permitted by the creator of the universe so that each soul would have its own unique way of communicating with the creator. In effect, there is no right or wrong religion provided that the practices of its adherents do not violate the universal law of love (love your creator with all your heart and strength and your neighbor as yourself). I find gravely flawed for one group of people to lay claim to the creator of the universe as their own, no matter how well intentioned and sound their arguments may seem. I believe that the most important and true religion is not that instituted by humans but it is that ordained by the creator Himself and that is the religion of love- to love your neighbor as you love yourself and to love your Creator –God, Allah, and Onyame, Mawu etc with all your heart and with all your strength. That to me is the summary of all the religions we have in the world.

My over riding philosophy in life is that all things are possible if you believe and work towards it. No one can stop you except you. No one can play the role you are supposed to play on this earth but you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Project

I had a mail from Lizzy of i-genius and she wanted to know what this project was all about. We ended up putting this together and thought we let you all know what we want to do or achieve with this blog. Enjoy.

  • Background information?
We are currently two friends in this project namely Nana Kwabena Owusu and Justin Sonaa Dakorah. Nana has a first degree (B Sc) in Civil Engineering an plans to major in Water supply, Environment or Highway. He is currently with the Department of Urban Roads in Tema.
I'm currently in my First clinical years in Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology-School of Medical Science. (KNUST-SMS). A long name though. Not really done with my plans but would like to be a Neurologist, Paediatrician or in OB/GYN. I have also been an active computer programmer and co-founder of BlackSoft Developers Ghana Ltd, a software development house specialized in multimedia programming.

  • Goals of the project?
The goal to us is the driving force. What makes us go out there put some few blogs and hope we make an impact. The goal is actually solution based. Almost everyday i'm in an argument with friends and colleagues trying to let them know that there are opportunities. Now in most of those argument we lost or did not have facts. On the other hand there's is more than enough proof by the population that we have no chance of making it.
This project is to find the proof, profile those who made it indigenously and the realities in the field. Also we would try and explain certain Government policies and discuss some issues hoping to bring forth or get a homegrown solution from the public. It's not a project to defy every policy or regulation. In the nutshell, cuz i'm writing too much, the project is to
  • identify the opportunities and the realities on the ground for the youth of Ghana
  • instill in the Ghanaian youth a sense of patriotism
  • organize seminars where necessary to deliver our findings
  • organize other project targeted at designing or pursuing identified opportunities
  • Identify and partner with Organizations that share our vision
A secondary goal will be to link Innovations Identified to be viable to Investors, Incubators or Venture Capital Orgs
  • Project Targets?
  • Primarily the youth.(Secondary and Tertiary Level of Education and the employed below 35)
  • Subject of the blog?
This is a draft of subject areas we will tackle.
  • Street Addressing
  • Start-Ups
  • Incubation Programs
  • Marketing Ideas - Simple Feasibility Studies
  • Biz Plans
  • Interviews
  • This Month In IT
  • News Review - IT, Business
  • Protecting Intellectual Property
  • Profiling Young Achievers
  • Responding to Comments
Best Regards,

I have arrived!

Hi Everyone, I'm the new author whom my co-author(who's ready to kick me out of this blog) Justin introduced. I actually tried posting for the first time using OperaMini but it somehow never happened. So this is my first blog. The last post The Good,The Bad and The Ugly, inspired me. So from tomorrow hopefully, we will Begin.
This is the Season of The Good,The Bad and the Ugly sides of trying entrepreneurial activities in Ghana.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Cutthroat

Well we decided to start this blog in April. April has started and we are still in discussions as to what to post on the blog. While we were waiting i decided to scan the internet on similar works on Ghana and also in reality the success of this blog.
And i would say I've got good, bad and ugly news. So which one first, The Good I guess, just so you continue reading.

The Good news is that, we are not alone. at least we in our hundreds and counting. There are more ghanaians out there who believe, and that is positive. With the kind of energy building up and the kind of innovations these guys out there are undertaking, it will not take long to reach our goal. Everyone knows, and it's a fact that we missed the Fuedal, Rock and Industrial ages but to mention a few. But we are with the information age, the age of technology, the age of Information Technology. We met it, we saw it crawl and grow, we witnessed sky rocketing profit margins, we saw information technology turn companies around and made them fortune 500 worthy. Now with all the proof there is, i don't want to believe we are going to let it pass by us again. we need to take advantage of the "Age". Enough enough enough.

Now the downside. The bad news. From experience it's not easy, everyone talks about the fact that there are serious bottlenecks. For example, the youth in Ghana are not saying we want the Old guys out of their offices but they behave as such. When they see a potential person with talent, they see competition. Most of our lecturers were very bright, did powerful project works back in their time and we all have no idea what happened after. Lets ask ourselves, are we as bright and up to the task as we are supposed to have been trained for. This really is the bad side, that the students being produced from our university are frankly not up to the task. The few ones who did the learning end up 'elsewhere'. That makes what the few of us want to achieve very difficult. I propose that patriotism of some sort is thought in schools, that somehow they make us understand that we have a duty to perform, to make this place better for those coming and the next. Lets get our youth talking about Ghana than USA, UK, Australia, Europe and the like.

Now, The Ugly. The youth themselves see all this as impossible. They believe Ghana cannot make it. They don't see the Ghana we see in 10 years. I don't want to talk a lot about this ugly side cuz it discourages me. Their minds are set. They believe that no one can make it in Ghana unless the individual is of some family, political party, ethnic group or travels outside the Country. Sad thing is they have evidence, vivid ones indeed.
I think the blog can now begin.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A New Author

Nana Kwabena Owusu, currently doing his national service in Tema with Department Of urban Roads, is the new Author of this blog. I should not be the one to write about him, guess he will do that one later. But tot i should introduce him.
Welcome Kobby.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.

That quote was by Norman Vincent Peale. This is the whole idea. There's no need for the Ghanaian youth to think that it's not possible once broke or once born poor. Making things happen and thinking of great new ideas and innovations have nothing to do with money. It's in our mind man, it's in our mind.
Think think and don't don't stop thinking. Money is the next step all right - capital. But it has nothing to do with getting the idea in the first place. I believe in one thing, Think the ideas, put it down somewhere and someday I'll be able to make it happen.
Just get a little book or even a sheet and give it a fancy name (Little Book Of Ideas). Don't start by rules, as in getting an idea a day. But anytime you think of an idea just put it down, refine it whenever and as much as you can.
Soon you'll have loads of ideas you feel wealthy already. Then you'll realize just how valuable you are.
So lets start thinking with no boundaries. Think big, we are entitled to fantasies right, and Oh, whiles thinking let's remember this "Don't go into something to test the waters, go into things to make waves".
Think Out Of The Box.

Day 2

So this is the second day. not much to say, just relaxing and thinking about what to write, which might just be about thinking.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My First Blog - At 50

At long last I've set off to start a blog. I love business ideas and i love looking for and creating opportunities. everyone has experiences especially the youth when it comes to starting a business or trying to put an idea across. This blog is for us, the youth, the youth of a 50 year old nation.

We are like the kids of a man almost going on retirement (60yrs). We have to start fending for ourselves rather than looking for inheritance, which in this case is not going to be on a silver platter.

This blog is out to tell us (the Ghanaian youth) that there are opportunities, yes there are and it's up to us to take them up if only we want to see a better Ghana for our kids to live in and thrive.

"Ghana cannot be built on absentee dollar remittances" - Prof. K. A Andam, Vice Chancellor Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2002-2006)