On our journey through life, we encounter lots of challenges but in the midst of it all, Hardwork pays with God at the Centre of it all; every step of the way. You will fail at a point but don’t let it discourage You. You will fall but get up and keep moving. Today on Exclusives with SammytheAuthor, an Inspiring Ghanaian – American Serial Entrepreneur, shares with us, her life story and career as an Entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of WESHEA. Checkout the Interview Below.
1: Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Miss Akua Afriyie? (Background, Education and Career).
Born and raised in Ghana to an American mother and Ghanaian father. My family were missionaries in Ghana and I enjoyed my experience. Moved to US after high school for college where I held several leadership roles.
Founder and CEO of WESHEA, a global skincare company with its headquarters and production house in Ghana. WESHEA has won several business competitions including Total Ghana’s “Startupper of the Year 2019” and “Pontiac Big Idea Grant Program 2020”
I am also the Founder and CEO of NBY Foundation (formerly known as Afriyie Foundation) The nonprofit organization is in honor of my late father who passed in October 2019. Our mission it to provide educational materials and basic needs to disadvantaged children in Ghana.
2: Great.😊 What’s the story (inspiration) behind Your Personality?
My parents, especially my father. My parents were very passionate in everything they do. My father’s life was very inspirational to me. He raised me in Ghana, while my mom and other siblings were in the USA so we spent a lot of time together. He always planted in my head the believe that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. His life was certainly a testimony to that. My father who’s highest form of education was high school, one day became a lecturer at a university in the USA.
That story alone gave me wings to fly. Because of that, I am fearless, passionate and determined.
3: Woow..That’s Awesome. Tell us more about your Company/Initiative, WeShea?
WESHEA is a global skincare business. We manufacture Shea butter for corporations that use Shea butter for cosmetics, food processing and pharmaceuticals needs.
We also make beauty products such as creams, body butters, oils, scrubs, mask and more. All our products are 100% Natural, vegan, cruelty free, chemical free etc.
4: Beautiful. So what triggered the idea to commence WeShea? Anything Shareable?
I’ve always had a desire for business. WESHEA came about because I always get compliments on my skin and hair. People would ask me what I use and I would tell them it was simply Shea butter.
5: Great. How can one get to enjoy (Purchase) your Products?
In Ghana, you can call +233 50 733 1002 or +233 24 999 9338. All other sales are made on http://www.weshea.com
6: Great. Being one of the 10 finalist in your Entrepreneurship Program, shaped me into what I am today, What inspired you to build such a great Initiative?
When I first came to the US, I knew I wanted to find a way to help people back home. I had access to resources and opportunities here in the US, so I wanted to make resources accessible to people back home as well.
While brainstorming, I realized that one of the biggest challenges in Ghana was unemployment. I knew that as young people of this generation, we could no longer wait on the government to make things happen.
I figured one of the best ways to provide job opportunities is to support entrepreneurs and small businesses so that in the next 5 years, they would have hopefully expanded and provide work.
So, whenever I got paid for work, I would put some money aside and by the time I came to Ghana for holidays, I had enough to do the entrepreneurship program.
We ended up giving 2 people a total of GHc 4,000. Back then it was $1,000. It may not be much, but I am grateful that I was able to help.
7: That’s Awesome. What are some of the challenges you faced or still facing in your quest to achieve your Dreams/Goals?
Well Covid-19 for sure has been a challenge for most businesses including mine. Other than that, I can’t complain.
My businesses do go through challenges. But I see them as lessons and necessary for my journey. Entrepreneurship is not all glamorous, although it may seem that way.
8: How was the feeling when WESHEA Growth Project won last year’s Startupper of the Year by total Challenge, organized by Total Petroleum Ghana Limited?
It was amazing. I will forever be grateful for that opportunity because it gave us the capital to invest in our production facility in Upper East, Ghana.
As an entrepreneur, getting recognized for my business idea gave me the confidence that I’m doing something right so I need to keep going. There’s no time to stop.
9: If you had the opportunity to turn back the hands of time, what would you have changed in your business life?
I wouldn’t change anything. I love the journey, the ups and downs, lows and highs. Every part of the journey has been necessary for my growth.
10: Any piece of advice for the young ones aspiring to be like you or pursue your kind of work?
Entrepreneurship is freedom. Freedom to be you, to be creative, to answer to yourself, to not take orders from anyone, to enjoy life etc.
However, in order to succeed on this path, you need discipline, resilience and patience.
If you are looking for quick money, this is not the field for you. It takes time to build a successful business. However, once your hard work pays off, you will enjoy the seeds that you sowed.
Thanks for your time Miss Akua. I’m super Grateful for granting me this interview.
I’m also grateful for your time and the opportunity. Thank you and I’m proud of you.