- Patricia Asare, a University of Ghana alumnus started a microfinance business in school after birthing the idea during a prayer session at a camp meeting
- She sold her iPhone for the initial capital and operated the business in her room until she completed university and registered the company with the Bank of Ghana
- The young lady received a grant from UKAid through Technoserve and got an investor along the line through a friend
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Great business ideas come in diverse ways. There are individuals who got their life changing idea through conversations and some through dreams. More often than not, great ideas are birthed in times where a solution is needed for an existing problem or lack.
Patricia Asare, a former University of Ghana, Legon student got her ground-breaking idea to start a micro-finance business on campus while at a camp meeting. In a prayer session, it just clicked to her that she could lend money to students and gain interests out of it.
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In an interview with YEN.com.gh, Patricia opened up about the steps she took after getting the business idea and how she has been able to expand and sustain the business over the years.
Raising initial capital to start the micro-finance business
Upon returning from the camp meeting, Patricia began preparations towards bringing her idea to light and one of the things she had to figure out was the starting capital. To finance her new idea, Patricia knew she had to make a huge sacrifice and she did just that.
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"I had no money readily available to start my venture so I chose to sell the iPhone I was using at the time to raise the capital I needed"
With her capital available, Patricia right way started lending out money to students who needed loans. Her room in school was the location of the business and thankfully, a few of her friends volunteered to help her out.
Registering the business with Bank of Ghana after completing University of Ghana, Legon
The micro-finance got a lot of patronage from students on campus and by the time Patricia graduated from the university, she knew running her business on full time basis was the best option for her.
"By the time I completed, I was well aware of the potential of my business to grow bigger than it currently was and so the next step was to get it registered with the Bank of Ghana and I also made sure all the necessary licenses to ensure smooth operation of the business were acquired"
She also enrolled in a number of business programs to learn more about running a business and interned with consulting firms to broaden her business management knowledge.
An interesting part of Patricia's journey was the reaction of her parents when they initially found out she had a business in school.
"Parents being 'parent', they were unhappy that I was running a business in school instead of fully focusing on the reason for which I was in school but eventually, they came around. They were even so proud of me to the extent that they invested in my business", she told YEN.com.gh
Becoming a national service personnel for her own company and hiring permanent staff
As mandated by the government of Ghana, Patricia had to go through national service for a year after completing school but being the boss lady she was, Patricia was able to get things running in her favour.
"After school, I paid a visit to the National Service Secretariat and thankfully, they were able to change my service posting to my own company."
Patricia was also able to employ a number of permanent staff and continued to engage student volunteers. The business run successfully from 2015 until 2020 when the COVID pandemic hit and they had to go on a break.
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"The students who were our clients had to go home due to the pandemic and business dwindled extremely due to that. I also got married, got pregnant and welcomed our bundle of joy which meant putting the business on hold for a little longer"
Getting financial support from UKAid and other investors
Patricia shared with YEN.com.gh that one of the things that helped her business was getting funding from various individuals and entities.
"Along the line, a friend of mine introduced me to a man who thankfully became my first investor, I also received grants from UKAid through Technoserve and my parents support me from time to time"
The goal according to the young lady is to resume business coming June, 2022 as things have settled down and students are now in school.
For Patricia, being a business owner at less than 25 years was very challenging. It required a lot of discipline, proper management and resilience but the ultimate goal to build a better and sustainable future for herself is what keeps her going all the times.
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To the young ones who wish to run their own businesses someday, the micro-finance CEO encouraged them to always remember that they are very much capable of achieving anything they set their minds to and that they only need to stay committed and to never lose sight of the end goal.
Meet The Ho Technical University Student Who Works Part-Time As A Dressmaker
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh earlier reported that Lydia Amedekah, a young Ghanaian lady recently took to social media to introduce herself and open up about what she does to sustain herself.
In a post on her LinkedIn timeline, Lydia revealed that she is a student at the Ho Technical University.
She also shared that she currently works as a fashion design and a textile designer on a part-time basis and the goal is to one day dominate Ghana's fashion industry with fashionable outfits.
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