From Selling Books to CEO: Meet the Ghanaian Making Millions From Waste Collection
- Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong is the founder of the Jospong Group of Companies
- The business is one of the largest holdings companies with over 32 subsidiaries in Ghana and operations in other African countries and Asia.
- Agyepong once sold books, started a printing press before growing to establish other ventures
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Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong elevated from humble beginnings to become the founder of the Jospong Group of Companies, one of the largest conglomerates in Ghana with over 32 subsidiaries.
His story is that of grass to grace and poverty to riches. With more than a dozen brands to his name, Dr Agyepong has earned a place in Ghana as one of the nation's business titans and self-made multi-millionaires.
Aside from Ghana, his businesses have penetrated other African countries and Asia.
Early life and education
Born March 20, 1971, in Assin-Amoabeng in the Central Region, he received his early education at Teshie Nungua Preparatory School in Accra.
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He furthered his education at the Royal Technical Institute at Nungua, where he studied for the City and Guilds of London Certificate, graduating with vocational education qualification and apprenticeship certificate in Electrical Engineering Technician (Part II).
Growing up, Agyepong had always wanted to become a pilot or a marine engineer and had his eyes set on present-day Accra Technical University, where he intended to earn a diploma.
Though he bought two application forms from Accra Polytechnic and Ghana Nautical College, he subsequently changed his mind.
Agyapong was not only an ambitious boy, he had a knack for excelling in business. He took over his mother's shop, where she sold books before she fell seriously sick.
He would turn things around to make appreciable profits. Following the achievement, his father advised him to direct his interest from engineering to business, which he heeded.
Starting his first business
With profits from the sale of books, he opened a printing press called Jospong Printing Press in a small room at Jamestown, Accra.
Agyepong became more focused on his business when his mother regained her health, enabling him to set up new businesses.
With 32 subsidiaries under the Jospong Group, he owns eight companies in other parts of Africa and the Middle East. The Jospong Group of Companies represents 16 Chinese companies, eight Indian companies, and five European companies in Ghana.
Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a waste management company he founded in 2006, is one of his well-known brands.
Dr Agyepong has been honoured for his endeavours, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills. He won the Overall Best Entrepreneur in the maiden Ghana Entrepreneurs Award in 2011.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) conferred an honorary doctorate in Literature on him in 2011 for his contribution to waste management and higher education in Ghana.
Aside from these honours, he won Ghana's Most Influential Industrialist also in that year and was adjudged the fifth Most Respected CEO in Ghana in 2012.
Ghanaian CEO named Female Innovator of the Year
Meanwhile, the CEO of Yielding Accomplished African Women (YaaW), Diana Wilson, has been named the Female Innovator of the Year at the Africa Tech Festival Awards 2021, Face2Face Africa reported.
The festival is the biggest and most influential tech event on the continent, informing and linking talents, business leaders, tech experts, policymakers, and investors leading Africa's digital scene for socio-economic impact.
For 24 years, the award scheme has recognised the contributions of individuals and groups in Africa's tech sphere.
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