A young female graduate identified as Patricia Asare has narrated how she started a microfinance business in school after birthing the idea during a prayer session at a camp meeting.
Great business ideas come in diverse ways. There are individuals who got their life-changing idea through conversations and some through dreams. Great ideas are often birthed in times when a solution is needed for an existing problem or lack.
Patricia Asare, a former University of Ghana, Legon student got her ground-breaking idea to start a micro-finance business on campus while at a camp meeting. In a prayer session, it just clicked to her that she could lend money to students and gain interest out of it.
In an interview with YEN.com.gh, Patricia opened up about the steps she took after getting the business idea and how she has expanded and sustained the business over the years.
Upon returning from the camp meeting, Patricia began preparations towards bringing her idea to light and one of the things she had to figure out was the starting capital.
To finance her new idea, Patricia knew she had to make a huge sacrifice and she did just that.
“I had no money readily available to start my venture so I chose to sell the iPhone I was using at the time to raise the capital I needed”
With her capital available, Patricia right way started lending out money to students who needed loans. Her room in the school was the location of the business and thankfully, a few of her friends volunteered to help her out.
The micro-finance got a lot of patronage from students on campus and by the time Patricia graduated from the university, she knew running her business on full-time basis was the best option for her.
In her words: “By the time I completed, I was well aware of the potential of my business to grow bigger than it currently was and so the next step was to get it registered with the Bank of Ghana and I also made sure all the necessary licenses to ensure smooth operation of the business were acquired”
She also enrolled in a number of business programs to learn more about running a business and interned with consulting firms to broaden her business management knowledge.
An interesting part of Patricia’s journey was the reaction of her parents when they initially found out she had a business in school.
“Parents being ‘parent’, they were unhappy that I was running a business in school instead of fully focusing on the reason for which I was in school but eventually, they came around. They were even so proud of me to the extent that they invested in my business,” disclosed
Patricia shared with YEN.com.gh that one of the things that helped her business was getting funding from various individuals and entities.
In her words: “Along the line, a friend of mine introduced me to a man who thankfully became my first investor, I also received grants from UKAid through Technoserve and my parents support me from time to time”
The goal according to the young lady is to resume business coming June 2022 as things have settled down and students are now in school.
For Patricia, being a business owner at less than 25 years was very challenging. It required a lot of discipline, proper management, and resilience but the ultimate goal to build a better and sustainable future for herself is what keeps her going all the time.
To the young ones who wish to run their own businesses someday, the micro-finance CEO encouraged them to always remember that they are very much capable of achieving anything they set their minds to and that they only need to stay committed and to never lose sight of the end goal.