From a small town called Lassie Tuolu in the Upper West Region, a young man discovered his talent for creativity and merged his need with his talent to create a business, and YEN.com.gh brings you his story.
Abraham Dorwo is the third child born to Mr. and Mrs. Dorwo, both farmers. The creator of AB’s Bags, Abraham somewhat stumbled into the art of creative bag making using African prints, and has launched a business worth taking notice of.
From a humble home, with parents who farm mainly for subsistence, Abraham realized that he needed to find his own path to financial freedom, especially if he wanted to further his tertiary education; something he described as very valuable to him.
During his early educational years, Abraham was sponsored by an NGO called ChildCare— now called Serve Ghana- where his basic and secondary fees and sometimes educational materials were funded by the NGO.
After completing his secondary education however, the NGO ended their sponsorship but Abraham was determined to not let his educational journey stop there.
“I realized if I stayed in the village I may end up not attaining my educational goals of going to the University and returning to cater for my parents.”
His decision to leave home and his village, to start off somewhere new was not easy, which was characterized by his father’s initial refusal to allow him to leave. But after some convincing, Abraham got his father’s approval and set off for Sunyani.
He stayed with friends in the beginning, while working with them on farms or as he described it, ‘by day’ work. Soon after, it occurred to Abraham that he might not make as much as he needed if he wanted to fund his way through university.
After sending out numerous job applications, Abraham found a job at a fuel station’s washing bay, as a car wash attendant. He worked in that role for three months and was then promoted to a pump attendant, saving his salary and tips to create a fund for his next step up the educational ladder.
In 2013, after working two years at the fuel station, Abraham applied to the University of Cape Coast and gained admission into the Bachelor of Education in Home Economics program.
“At the time, my brother was also in the university, and urged me to hold off starting schools as he could not yet help with whatever I would need for school. But he did not know I had saved enough to take care of myself,” he tells us.
Abraham paid off his school fees and started his first year at UCC. In his second year, he was able to pay his school fees again through working different jobs during his vacation time and with the help of his brother who had then completed and was employed in a teaching position.
Abraham soon after realized he would require more sources of income to be able to pay his way through school, and so his entrepreneurial side kicked in and he started off with liquid detergent sales.
However, a chance meeting with a man called Osei, who made fashionable bags prompted his interest in the trade.
“I actually learnt to make this from a man in Sunyani, whom I can only call Osei. I was off visiting a friend, when I saw his shop. I stopped and watched him as he his made the bags and my interest grew.”
So he approached Mr. Osei to learn the trade and was permitted. Apparently, the study time to make these bags was three months, but Abraham defied the odds and managed to learn to make his own in just two weeks.
Of course, starting any business is never a trip to the cupcake shop, as Abraham recalls facing some challenges during his early days.
“After I learned the skills in making these bags, I was faced with the challenge of a startup capital. So I sold more of my liquid detergents to earn enough money to launch the business.”
Abraham -rather enthusiastically- notes that his businesses has experienced a bit of a turn around this year, as initially he used to make only about 20 bags a month, but now earns contracts demanding about 30 bags a day!
He attributes his determination to keep moving to his own self-motivation and to a quote from a book that stuck with him.
“I read one book and in the book there was statement that ' no one can blamed from coming from a poor family, but you can be blamed if you die poor'. This statement gives me hope that though I am from humble roots, I can still make it to change my family's situation and make them proud.”
His dream? To offer a better chance to others, as he was offered in growing years with the NGO. Abraham hopes to create a large sustainable business that will offer employment to young people, as his own contribution to bettering society.
He manages to help his family and younger siblings occasionally, and is looking to continue to do so with others that have a story like his.
NOTE: Abraham hopes to grow his business with the help of anyone interested in investing with him. If you'd like to contact Abraham, you can send us a mail or visit our Facebook page and we will put you in contact with him.
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