Joyce Alorbu completed University Of Professional Studies and it took a while to land a corporate job. The pandemic surfaced and that resulted in losing her job.
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Knowing very well her siblings depend on her, she had to get something going and her saving grace was starting a kenkey business.
The hope of every university student is to successfully graduate, get a good job or business venture and build a promising future for themselves.
As a child, Joyce Alorbu naturally enjoyed helping her mother keep record of earnings from her kenkey business, and from that point, her desire to become an accountant someday was birthed.
All decisions she took from there were geared towards fulfilling her dream.
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In an interview with YEN.com.gh, Joyce revealed that she already knew the course she wanted to study in secondary school which was business hence applied to St. Martin's Senoir High school and did just that.
"I enjoyed taking business in secondary school so i applied for Business Admininstration at the University of Professional Studies and thankfully got in", she revealed.
Getting a job after national service and losing it later
It took Joyce one and half years to land a job after her mandatory national service but unlike many graduates in Ghana, she was lucky enough to get employed but the unexpected happened and her company collapsed.
"I was working with an international company for two years but the COVID-19 pandemic occurred and it closed down"
Just like that, Joyce found herself in the same position she was three years ago but this time she had a duty to care for her two younger siblings hence was not able to just stay home.
She was willing to do all it took to fend for herself and her siblings.
Venturing into selling kenkey
After losing her job, Joyce applied to other companies and received no positive feed back over a year.
As the daughter of a hard working kenkey seller, she decided to follow the same path her mum used to fend for herself and siblings and that was, becoming a kenkey seller as well.
"I saw my mother do it for years and was able to care for us with that. I thought to myself, here I am unemployed. I might as well give it a shot at least for the time being until I land another job"
With Gh400 she had saved up, she commenced her kenkey business.
Preparations towards starting the business on full-time basis
Joyce wanted to get things done in the right way and that meant doing her research and completing all food vendor requirements.
"I did some research as to the interest of people now since there are a lot of kenkey vendors; benefits of kenkey and combination of proteins.
I went on to do my medical test, registered my business and from there, I designed my logo and menu"
Making her kenkey business stand out
As a university graduate selling kenkey, Joyce knew she had to stand out hence put some measures in place to achieve that.
"I use yellow corn in preparing the kenkey which comes with a lot of health benefits such as prevention of anemia, improves eyesight, a good pre-biotic, protects the heart etc. I also have millet kenkey for those who want to lose weight and my proteins are done fresh and hot. I have traditionally spiced charcoal-grilled pork as well"
She was also particular about meeting the needs of her customers hence made conscious effort to get as much feedback as possible.
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For Joyce, her customers come first and listening to them helped improve her products and business in general.
Challenges the business comes with
Climate plays a huge role in the outcome of the kenkey which in turn affects customer preference and that is a challenge the young food vendor battles with; ensuring a consistent food texture.
"The season of new corn is a challenge for me. During this period since the maize is not well dried up, the kenkey does not turn up tender and soft and might not meet customer demands which results in loosing some customers"
Advice for graduates struggling to find employment
Joyce advised young graduates to be more open minded in terms of what they really want to venture into and grab opportunities in any form they come.
"There is opportunity everywhere not only in the corporate world. Graduates need to search within themselves and make good use of what they enjoy doing and turn that into a money generating venture as there is nothing more fulfilling than enjoying the work you do"
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