Prince Acheampong: Meet the Ghanaian Leather Shoe Designer who Started His Business after Losing his Job

Prince Acheampong: Meet the Ghanaian Leather Shoe Designer who Started His Business after Losing his Job

  • Prince Owoahene Acheampong is the founder of Viking Leather Wear - Africa and JustClean Professional Cleaning Services
  • He founded the companies after losing his job as an International Customer Specialist at a multinational company
  • Acheampong now runs two businesses alongside his Chartered Marketing programme at Harley Reed UK, Ghana campus

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''People often think that losing your job is one of the worst things that can happen to someone ...'', but for Prince Owoahene Acheampong, it was the time to go after his goals.

At 29, Acheampong is the founder of Viking Leather Wear - Africa, a shoe brand dedicated to producing premium quality leather shoes. He founded the company after losing his job as an International Customer Specialist at a multinational company.

His life mirrored the quote by Chef Homaro Cantu, an American chef and inventor known for his use of molecular gastronomy, as he took the giant steps to start his own business.

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Ghanaian shoe designer Prince Acheampong
Prince Acheampong, the Ghanaian Leather Shoe Designer who Started His Business after Losing his Job Photo credit: Prince Acheampong
Source: UGC

Acheampong became jobless when Covid-19 struck in 2020, but it allowed him to rethink what he wanted for his life. And, this was when he started Viking Leather Wear - Africa.

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Early childhood

The native of Sefwi in Ghana was born to officers of the Ghana Police Service. He moved with his parents to the Cantonments Police Barracks in Accra when he was only two years old.

As police officers, his parents were ''strict''. He told YEN.com.gh that it helped in moulding his character as a child.

Acheampong grew up attending the Mother Care School, where he received his basic and junior high school (JHS) education.

Following JHS, Acheampong studied General Arts at the Prempeh College, graduating with 4As and 4Bs in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

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He recalls participating in extracurricular activities as the Ashanti Regional Organiser for a literary group in senior high school.

Tertiary education

At the University of Ghana, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Administration, Acheampong's interest in fashion was evident in his sartorial selection, particularly his choice of footwear.

Even though he always had an interest in shoes, he started making shoes after graduating from university. His love for fashion aligned with what seemed like a misfortune at the time.

Losing his job

''After my national service, I got a job as an International Customer Specialist for a multinational company,'' he told YEN.com.gh.
''In 2020, I lost my job working as an international customer specialist for a multinational company during the first phase of the pandemic.''

He recalls staying at home for months, not knowing where his next paycheck would emerge. ''All hope was lost. I prayed a solemn prayer to God to come to my aid and show me the way,'' he said in a Linkedin post.

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Starting his business

After three days of fasting and prayers, he used the little money he had saved to start Viking Leather Wear - Africa in July 2020, he says.

''After a few months, I saw massive improvement, and sales were very impressive.''

In 2021, Acheampong decided to venture into the professional cleaning business field, starting JustClean Professional Cleaning Services with the profit he made from the shoe business.

He is doing this alongside his chartered marketing programme at Harley Reed Uk, Ghana campus.

From being jobless to becoming a CEO, he now runs two fast-growing companies. But like most startups, funding and investments coupled with systemic challenges are a problem.

Challenges

Acheampong recently vented about some challenges impeding the growth of businesses owned by local entrepreneurs. His concerns followed recent comments by Ghana's Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, urging the youth to venture into entrepreneurship to boost the economy because the government's payroll is full.

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As a young entrepreneur who produces quality leather boots and other leather apparel, he recalled an encounter with the Quarter Master General of the Ghana Police Service to present samples of his boots for his perusal and hopefully secure a contract to produce for the security service.

''Upon seeing the boots and testifying of their quality and durability, he bluntly said to me ''we can’t help you nor work with you - the Ghana Police Service doesn’t buy their boots from Ghana,'' he said.

According to Acheampong, all attempts to get the Quarter Master General to reconsider yielded no results.

''I wondered what the Ghanaian entrepreneur had done wrong to merit such rejection by its leaders.'' Acheampong lamented that the Ghanaian system isn’t friendly to entrepreneurs in response to the Finance Minister.

Growing amid challenges

Despite the challenges, he told YEN.com.gh about his determination to expand his business beyond Ghana and Africa.

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With his shoe brand, he wants to become one of the shoe designers ranked among some well-known luxury brands such as Alexandre Birman, Gucci, and Balenciaga.

''For now, we have a showroom in Ghana. But I am looking at expanding beyond Ghana and Africa,'' he said.

The Ghanaian Police Officer Pursuing a Law Degree

Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh reported about Johnson Adusei-Poku, a Ghanaian police officer who endured extreme financial impediments to achieve his goals.

From a humble beginning, Adusei-Poku was born in Kumasi and grew up in Ofoase Kokoben, one of the most deprived villages in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, where he had an extremely ''turbulent childhood''.

As a child, he was compelled to move to stay with his grandmother in the village after his parents separated and received his junior high school education at L/A JSS Ofoase Kokoben. He later attended Simms Secondary/Commercial in Fawoade, Kumasi, where he studied Business.

Source: Yen

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