HOW I BECAME A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR: Abigail Gyamfi, Founder of OGA Golden Apparels
HOW I BECAME A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR
An Interview With The Fabulous Abigail Gyamfi, Founder of OGA Golden Apparels
My name is Abigail Gyamfi, a YALI Fellow and a graduate from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. I am Christian, a member of the Church of Pentecost. I love cooking especially “Ghana Jollof”, playing scrabble and reading. I am passionate about Research and STEM Education.
My social enterprise; OGA Golden Apparels was birthed out of a desire to remedy the difficulty for students in my department to procure proper and affordable lab coats and goggles during my undergraduate studies at KNUST. A colleague had suffered a preventable accident in the Chemistry laboratory due to her failure to put on safety wear for her practical session and as a result, stricter measures were taken to avoid such occurrences. Concerned about how easily this incident could have been prevented, I decided to help my colleagues and other students to procure the right safety gears. Order after order, I was supplying to my entire department and other departments with safety goggles.
My decision to expand the business came as a result of hoping to provide a sustainable livelihood and employment for my neighbor, a single mother with two children. We pulled out our efforts and resources together and mobilized other local seamstresses in our community and together we produced our first delivery of 200 pieces of lab coats as a company in a week. Inspired by how OGA business transformed my neighbor’s life, I expanded the business to employ more women and youth.
There is a lack of decent employment opportunities for women with little or no education. Young people with stunted education often suffer the same fate. These people struggle immensely to cater for themselves and their families. Some of them have to endure abuse from benefactors. Others even have to engage in vices to earn a livelihood.
OGA Golden Apparels bridges this gap by empowering and employing this impact group to make quality and inexpensive healthcare, safety and workplace uniforms such as lab coats, scrubs, aprons, engineering overalls, embroidered apparels and other safety gears.
I rented a cheaper hostel and saved some of my allowance to start my business during my undergraduate studies. I also leveraged on the support of my team, family and friends to raise funds. It wasn’t easy juggling academics with entrepreneurship, however, I persevered through diligence and strategic planning. It got stressful sometimes, but I pressed on regardless.
I extend my entrepreneurial experience to help students and youth to start and grow their businesses. I believe success is meaningless if it is not freely shared with others. I am dedicated to mentorship and volunteering. I am a member of Winspire Foundation a non-profit organization that mentors young minds towards a fulfilling career. I have coached over 2000 high school students across Ashanti Region. I have volunteered and facilitated plenary sessions on entrepreneurship programs for over 3500 undergraduates and graduates.
My advice to others…
Maintain a spirit of open-mindedness; there exists no single best way. Identify a societal problem and give it an innovative, sustainable and scalable solution. Start with what you have, invest in excellence, diligence and quality no matter how small your enterprise may seem. Use technology to your advantage. Build on something you are passionate about. Start now; and stay focused on the task. Build yourself, develop a great network and volunteer. Do not take your preparations for granted, make yourself a continual learner. Your idea could transform Ghana, Africa and the world at large. We have a call unto greater responsibility. Impact Humanity, Leave a Legacy!
We are currently a promotion for our products #WearOGA. The sales returns will be used to train our focus group to acquire better machinery to expand our capacity and social impact. Please get in touch with us on +233 (0) 266 172 051 or +233 (0) 243 521 076. Thank you to The Fabulous Woman Network.
Interview by: Ama Duncan, Author (https://goo.gl/pv4Y7z)
and Founder of The Fabulous Woman Network
Source: The Fabulous Woman Network Facebook page
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