In search of brilliant young entrepreneurs, YEWGlobal stumbled upon a young lady who defied gender stereotypes by pursuing her passion in a male-dominated field. Today, we feature the trailblazer entrepreneur Edna Frimpong, a groundbreaker in the manufacturing sector. Get ready to be inspired by her story of perseverance, determination, and success in the face of adversity!
Against all odds, a young lady sought to find her passion in a male-dominated industry. Her absolute determination to achieve success led her to work hard and combine her studies with work. Starting her business was no easy feat, but she was determined to make it happen. Being authentic, fearless, and committed, she worked hard and toiled to co-found Ahofade, an exceptional Ghanaian fashion brand that takes immense pride in crafting exquisite made-in-Ghana products.
Maya Angelou once said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” Edna embodies this mission by striving for the best, and refusing to give up her zeal for success keeps her going.
Starting a shoe-making business can be a formidable task, but for those driven by passion, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding journey. Edna Frimpong, a final year student at the prestigious University of Media, Arts, and Communications-GIJ, has a deep fascination for shoe-making, which led her to pursue her passion for Public Relations and establish Fash Slippers, a producer of Ghanaian-made sandals.
Edna Frimpong, the co-founder and Public Relations officer for Ahofade, has earned the nickname ShoeMakergurl for her entrepreneurial spirit, an attestation to her staunch commitment to producing exceptional footwear. Her brand goes beyond the production of quality handmade shoes. It is nurturing and empowering the next generation of artisans.
Their honourable efforts provide valuable training opportunities for young talents, allowing them to hone their skills and showcase their creativity. In recognition of her achievements, Edna was named the most iconic young female shoemaker of the year at the second Africa Entrepreneurship Accelerator Summit, 2023, organized by Westlionco. By building a shoe-making business that focuses on handcrafted shoes, Edna contributes to the local economy by providing employment opportunities and supporting other businesses in the supply chain.
Edna understands that to excel in the shoe-making industry, one must possess three essential qualities: passion, artistic expression, and a desire to make a difference. She believes that passion fuels the drive to excel in the field by providing an artistic canvas to showcase creativity and make a difference in the fashion industry through the promotion of sustainable practices and ethical production.
As a woman in a male-dominated field, she had to overcome gender bias and perceptions of not being able to fit into the manufacturing work. Yet, Edna perseveres and even advocates for more women and girls to join her in the industry. She advises young entrepreneurs to be tactical when starting a shoe-making business, which requires careful planning and investment in various resources.
The story of Edna is an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs who have a love for shoe-making. With hard work, commitment, and a drive to make a difference, anyone can start a shoe-making business and become a successful entrepreneur.
YEWGlobal is proud to highlight Edna Frimpong for her exceptional talent in shoe-making. Congratulations, Edna, and we wish you continued success.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Your name, educational background, business, and achievements. Everything that makes you who you are today?
Edna Frimpong is a driven and ambitious final-year student at the prestigious University of Media, Arts, and Communications-GIJ, pursuing her passion for Public Relations. With a name that exudes grace and uniqueness, Edna is a force to be reckoned with in her academic and professional endeavours. Edna is eager to make her mark, not only as a successful Public Relations professional but also as a trailblazing entrepreneur. Her dreams and aspirations know no bounds, and she is constantly seeking opportunities to learn, grow, and inspire others with unwavering dedication. She is affectionately called the ShoeMakergurl.
2. Now, tell us more about Ahofade.
Ahofade is an exceptional Ghanaian fashion brand that takes immense pride in crafting exquisite made-in-Ghana products. At the heart of our creations are stunning and meticulously designed footwear embodying the rich cultural heritage and artistic flair of Ghana. More than just a fashion brand, Ahofade goes above and beyond by nurturing and empowering the next generation of artisans. Through our dedicated efforts, Ahofade provides valuable training opportunities for young talents, allowing them to hone their skills and showcase their creativity.
3. Why did you consider establishing and venturing into shoe-making?
There are several reasons why I chose shoe-making as your profession:
Passion for Fashion: From a young age, I have had a deep fascination with fashion and the art of creating beautiful and functional footwear. This passion ignited a spark within me, compelling me to delve into the world of shoe-making.
Making a Difference: by producing handmade, locally crafted shoes, I contribute to sustainable and ethical practices. I believe in the importance of supporting local artisans and promoting traditional craftsmanship.
Entrepreneurial Spirit: Shoe-making also appeals to my entrepreneurial spirit. Starting my shoe-making business allows me to build something of my own, turning my passion into a fulfilling career.
4. In your opinion, what resources are needed to start a business in your field of work?
Starting a shoe-making business requires careful planning and investment in various resources. Here are some key resources you will need to consider:
Skills and Knowledge: Before venturing into the shoe-making business, ensure you have a solid foundation in shoe-making techniques. If you do not have prior experience, consider attending shoe-making courses or workshops to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.
Business Plan: Create a comprehensive business plan outlining your goals, target market, marketing strategies, financial projections, and operational plans. A well-thought-out plan will guide you through the initial stages of your business.
Raw Materials: Source high-quality materials for shoe-making, such as leather, synthetic materials, threads, adhesives, soles, and embellishments. Establish relationships with reliable suppliers to ensure a steady flow of materials.
5. What have been the challenges and benefits of establishing a business?
Starting a shoe-making business comes with its own set of challenges and benefits.
Initial Investment: Setting up a shoe-making business requires a significant initial investment in tools, equipment, raw materials, and workspace. This can be a barrier for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those on a tight budget.
Skills and Expertise: Acquiring the necessary shoe-making skills and expertise takes time and dedication. The learning curve can be steep, and perfecting the craft requires patience and continuous learning.
Competition: The fashion industry, including shoe-making, is highly competitive. Establishing a unique brand identity and standing out in a saturated market can be challenging.
Longevity and Durability: Handcrafted shoes often boast superior quality and durability compared to mass-produced footwear, making them desirable for customers seeking long-lasting products.
Impact on Local Economy: As a shoemaker, you contribute to the local economy by providing employment opportunities and supporting other businesses in the supply chain.
Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Starting a shoe-making business allows you to be your boss, pursue your passion, and build a brand that reflects your vision and values.
6. As an entrepreneur, what drives you to want to achieve more in life? What is your source of motivation?
As an entrepreneur in the shoe-making industry, several factors drive me and serve as sources of motivation:
Passion for Shoe-making: at the core of my drive is a deep and unwavering passion for shoe-making. The joy and fulfilment I find in creating beautiful, high-quality footwear fuel my determination to excel in this field.
Artistic expression: shoe-making gives me a canvas to express my creativity and artistic vision. The ability to design and craft unique and aesthetically pleasing shoes ignites my passion for the art form.
Impactful Products: knowing that my handmade shoes bring joy and satisfaction to my customers is a significant source of motivation. The positive impact my products have on their lives, enhancing their style and confidence, drives me to continue creating exceptional footwear.
Creating a Difference: through your business, you aim to make a difference in the fashion industry by promoting sustainable practices and ethical production and celebrating the art of handmade shoes.
Inspiring Others: your journey as an entrepreneur serves as an inspiration to others who aspire to follow their passion and pursue their dreams. Knowing your success can inspire others; that alone motivates me to be a positive role model.
7. In a male-dominated industry, what are the challenges you face in your career?
A female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry like shoe-making may encounter several challenges. While progress has been made towards greater gender equality, certain obstacles persist:
Gender Bias: You might face gender bias, where some people may assume that women are less capable in technical or business aspects of the industry. Overcoming such preconceptions and proving your skills may be necessary.
Lack of Representation: The underrepresentation of women in the industry can lead to feelings of isolation and limited access to female role models and mentors who have navigated similar challenges.
Networking Challenges: Male-dominated networks and associations may make it challenging to build connections and access opportunities. You may need to seek out inclusive networks that support women in entering groundbreakers in the manufacturing sector.
Despite these challenges, it's crucial to mention that being a female entrepreneur also brings unique strengths and perspectives to the industry:
Creativity and Innovation: Women often bring creative and innovative approaches to problem-solving, fostering fresh ideas in a competitive market.
Empathy and Customer Focus: Women tend to excel with the needs and preferences of the customer, leading to a customer-centric approach that can boost brand loyalty.
Resilience and Determination: Female entrepreneurs often exhibit exceptional resilience and determination in overcoming barriers, which can lead to long-term success.
8. How important is it to you to do what you love and be successful at it?
Doing what you love and being successful at it is paramount to leading a fulfilling and meaningful life. Here are some reasons why it holds such significance:
Passion and Fulfilment: When I pursue something I love, I find a deep sense of passion and joy in my work. It adds meaning to my life and makes each day more fulfilling.
Intrinsic Motivation: Loving what I do provides me with intrinsic motivation.
9. What advice would you give any individual trying to establish a business in your sector?
Establishing a business can be both exciting and challenging. Here are some essential pieces of advice for anyone trying to start their venture:
Passion and Purpose: Start with something you are passionate about. Your passion will drive you through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, and having a clear sense of purpose will guide your decisions and goals.
Start Small and Scale Gradually: It's tempting to aim for rapid growth, but starting small allows you to test your business idea, refine your processes, and learn from early mistakes. As you gain momentum and confidence, you can scale your operations.
10. Are you on any social media platforms?
Yes, I am! Ahofade across Facebook, Instagram, thread, and LinkedIn and Edna Frimpong across all socials.
The team at YEWGlobal wishes Edna Frimpong all the best in her next endeavours. We can't wait to have an update on your success journey.
We hope you enjoyed this week's edition of the YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE WEEK.
See you all soon!