Young entrepreneur recounts how the ‘system’ disappointed him

Young entrepreneur, Prince Owoahene Acheampong, founder of Viking Leather Wear has disclosed that his confidence went over the roof when the Finance Minister announced that young people should venture into entrepreneurship as a result of the clog in the government payroll, but was disappointed over the lack of patronage by the government.

In an interview on the New Day Tuesday, November 2, the young entrepreneur recounted how he was laid off at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as marketing personnel in a multinational company, thus venturing into the art of shoemaking that he learned online.

He said this learning curve resulted in the creation of his own brand, the Viking Leather Wear, making protective boots for factory workers and the security forces with the quality that can stand the pedigree of the established brands.

Prince said after mastering the art of shoemaking and establishing his brand, he used his severance package of GHC 2,000 for the start-up and in two weeks was able to sell all the shoes he made within the span of days.

He said the rapid sale of his first products boosted his confidence to go in harder concerning the quality and quantity of his production in the country.

Prince said his pursuit for quality in his shoe production led him to sell some of his valuables like television and others in order to meet the high cost of raw materials for his shoes.

“I meant business and someway somehow I was able to produce more and it kept going and going and I was getting better as the days went by. So one day when the Finance Minister said government payroll is full so he will urge the youth to go into entrepreneurship, I watched and it boosted my confidence,” he revealed to Berla Mundi on the New Day.

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Asked whether the news by the Finance Minister did not deter him as it did many youths in the country, Prince said “when you are in a land and you want to be Jacob there and you find yourself in a situation where you cannot be Jacob, I think you should be an Esau” as a way of improvising with what one have to make away.

Prince disclosed that he currently makes more than GHC 6000 in profit after taking out cost and overheads in just under two years of his establishment, all because of his hard work and ingenuity in business.

He concluded by saying “all along I was thinking of expanding so I started it even before he made that statement so I thought perhaps the government is ready to support us. So I was like, I will do this and send it to an [state] agency to see how it turns out and I went there and I was disappointed.

“I had an opportunity to visit one of the security services, I spoke to them and the feedback was that ‘wow these are good and quality products but we can’t work with you’ because I didn’t have the capacity to produce and that the service have other means of acquiring their boots, which I think I wasn’t qualified for at the time,” disclosed the young entrepreneur.

Prince posited that with funding, he can produce approximately 200 boots per day with fifty employees and even more, as he is currently working with five employees.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana