As Afrinection has entered its second year, our membership database is growing strong. Every week, new African entrepreneurs, startups, business leaders, and professionals are signing up for a free profile. Their objective is to connect with like-minded individuals, find employees, rack up investment, get business advice, and more importantly fostering real connections to drive their business and the continent forward. We recently spoke to Sydney Sam of The Workspace. This Ghanaian 360-brand engagement expert firm is helping local brands prepare for the global market, whilst assisting international brands in entering the Ghanaian market - efficiently and cost-effectively.
1. In short, tell us what your company does?
We are a 360 brand engagement firm that focuses on building African brands for the global market as well as aiding international brands entering Ghana and eventually Africa, market effectively by tailoring their communication uniquely to the local market.
2. What has been the company's biggest achievement?
Our biggest achievement lies in building over 20 local brands into substantial ones, from developing the brand identity/concept to marketing the brand digitally to creating the brands' websites and making sure these brands access the people who need their services the most. We are also very proud of the documentary we created for The World Bank (The Washington D.C. branch) which carried across the message they needed to promote at the time and also opened us to mutually beneficial partnerships with global brands in that space.
3. How does your venture contribute to the development of Africa?
We believe the future is African. Our work with African brands goes specifically to refine, empower and enrich home-grown entrepreneurs with the access & business resources to make significant change within the continent and beyond. Using branding as the catalyst, we have refined business models, enhanced industry leadership, fostered partnerships and even facilitated International aid for social enterprises in the sub-region. Workspace is definitely on the course of being a leading driver of African development through the work of our entrepreneurs!
4. What has been one of the challenges of setting up your company and how did you overcome these?
The classic problem of access to capital placed a huge stumbling block in our growth to our current level. We relied heavily on ploughing back our revenue streams and growing our customer & infrastructural base organically. Another major challenge was the initial industry response to our unwavering quality standards and professional approach to our work.
5. What makes your company stand out from the crowd?
We have a young, extremely dynamic and career-diverse team which always comes as a surprise to our clients who associate our quality of work with our more seasoned industry veterans. We also run a unique work-from-anywhere model making us one of the pioneers of the virtual office trend rising around the world.
6. What is Africa's greatest promise (in terms of entrepreneurship, investment, etc) and why?
Africa has lived long under a title of a continent with great potential or untapped resources. Our entrepreneurs now embody the commitment to creating sustainable business opportunities & solutions to social problems. We no longer accept that we have a chance at greatness; we are great. Our ideas are working and we are contributing to valuable intelligence and impact around the globe. Africa’s greatest promise is that we are a powerful people and we will act in our full capacity to grow our worth.
7. This year, we want to ...
We want to fully integrate our operations into the virtual system using technology to further increase our work efficiency and general client engagement experience. We are also aggressively building partnerships with significant thought leader organizations with access to entrepreneurial networks and other resources. This rapidly expands our ability to achieve our Pro-African Global Branding mission through extensive influence, collaboration and inter-organizational participation.
8. My African entrepreneurial role models is ...
Tony Elumelu. He's not just an entrepreneur making moves but also provides an opportunity for young high-potential entrepreneurs to gain funding to bring their ideas to life. His approach is what is needed in the African business community: the culture of re-investing into new ideas. Beyond his talks, he actively empowers and enables our business future. He is truly a visionary.