Below is a summary of our Live Twitter Q & A session with Kelvin Nyame, Co-Founder and CEO of Meqasa.com, held on the 27th of May 2016. Using the hashtag #jobbermangh4jobs, we were able to create a meaning conversation around the topic “Building a Startup Business in Ghana”. Questions from participants and answers from our Resource Person are compiled into this blog post for easy reference.
Q1. What is a startup business?
Answer: I think it’s a venture with at least one passionate entrepreneur to solve a problem & create value.
Q2. How is a startup business different from mainstream business?
Answer: The latter usually have established models, a lot more iterations with startups I think
Q3. How did you start MeQaSa?
Answer: From MEST with two other co-founders. We wanted to connect seekers with property owners or agents by creating an online marketplace
Q4. What set of strategies did you action on that ensured your success?
Answer: I will say we’re still in the process to become successful but here are a few.
- Understandn the problem and knowing what can and can’t be solved in both short and long term.
- Creating a sustainable company culture that will attract great talent, don’t compromise.
- Learning a lot from other markets, what works and doesn’t and customise for your market
Q5. Do you think there is a secret formula to building a startup in Ghana?
Answer: Haven’t seen one yet, It would’ve made it easier for us when we first started
Q6. What set of values should entrepreneurs exhibit in order to become successful?
Answer: I think Honesty and dedication surely will attract like minded people to buy into the vision
Q7. Does starting a new business required specific educational qualification (s) and set of ideas or just a capital?
Answer: You need to be able understand and relate with the problem, so if it requires learning, then yes.
Q8. Some say “who you know” works a lot and without it you can’t succeed. True?
Answer: I think your customers/users matter more and I don’t think you can know them all
Q9. Is is wrong to work for someone for a while to accumulate some money before setting up your own business?
Answer: Very ideal, you learn a lot in the process. I never had the opportunity so I had to do it the hard way.
Q8. What are some of the startup pitfall in Ghana/Africa?
Answer: I can only speak for Ghana for now, first thing obviously would be Financing. Fundraising is already difficult so Government should work with GIPC to reduce the blockers for startups. Flexible taxes for startups, it’s very difficult to spend the little money you have on taxes
Q9. How do you sustain the growth of your business after a disappointed start?
Answer: If you have co-founders, I’ll suggest you have a talk to discuss if it’s worth investing more time. But use data to make these decisions, less gut feelings
Q10. Are there people willing to invest in only ideas in Ghana?
Answer: I’m not certain but maybe some Angel investors and incubators, high returns for them if it works.
Q11. Where can young entrepreneurs look for resources to implement their ideas?
Answer: I don’t think there’s a destination but, VC firms are always ready to invest in a good venture. It’s now easy to know which ones are already investing in Africa, so reach out to them when ready
Q12. Your final words to young upcoming entrepreneurs in Ghana/Africa?
Answer: Entrepreneurship is fun but can get very frustrating. Listen more, read, learn and execute
PROFILE OF KELVIN NYAME:
Kelvin is Co – Founder & CEO, Meqasa.com – a real estate portal that smoothens the process of purchasing or renting a home online and also facilitates a meeting with the owners/realtors to close the deal. Kelvin Co-founded MeQasa in July 2013 after his two years training at the MEST school. It received initial seed investment of $90K from the Meltwater Foundation and a follow-up raised a Series A investment of $500K from the Frontier Digital Ventures HeadQuartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.