Kwaku Akoi ’14 was selected to receive an Enrichment Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. As CEO of a social venture called JooMah, Kwaku and the other members of the JooMah team have been conducting market research, building connections, and honing their own business-related skills. This grant provided partial funding that allowed Kwaku to meet with a key business contact in Ghana during winter break. You can read Kwaku’s story below, and visit the PCSE website to learn more about our grant programs.
Last December, I went home to Ghana to spend time with family and also to strengthen a Wesleyan alumni connection for my venture, JooMah. The Patricelli Center helped fund my trip in Accra, connecting and trying to connect with Wesleyan alumni who are interested in the work I was doing. The highlight of my stay at home was meeting with Nik Amarteifio (Class of ’67), Chairman of Dannex Pharmaceuticals and Omni Media, two of Ghana’s most successful pharmaceutical and media brands. It was a pleasure reconnecting with Chairman, as everyone who knows him calls him, and getting to pitch JooMah to him and the CEO of Dannex. Chairman loved the idea and immediately put me on the phone with another Wesleyan alum, Mr. Kofi Appenteng (Class of ’81) who currently chairs the Africa America Institute and sits on the board of the Ford Foundation. It was very encouraging talking to such accomplished Wesleyan alumni and getting their perspective on what I am doing and how best to go about doing business in Ghana.
Describing JooMah, a web and SMS platform that will help African employers find talent faster and connect job seekers with the best job opportunities available, to Mr. Amarteifio offered me an inside look into the mentality of Ghanaian employers when it comes to hiring talent. Mr. Amarteifio stressed the lack of accessibility to talent as inhibiting output and growth in many Ghanaian firms. For him, JooMah possesses the potential to not only make hiring easier, but to fundamentally improve productivity and growth for many African companies. This kind of validation was more than I expected from my trip going home. Many thanks to the PCSE!