From jobless to employer in 12 months: proof anything is possible in West Africa

IMG_9703I am writing to personally thank you for helping to make this year one of the most transformative in my personal and professional life. In just 12 months, I was able to go from a jobless post-grad to an employer of 5 young people in Ghana.

Here is how it all happened..

When I graduated from Columbia in May of 2012, I had no idea what I was going to do. I had no money, or job, but I knew I would have a place to sleep, and something to eat in my mother’s house in Accra. I had visited many times before, but other than a handful of Twitter friends, I had nothing else to show. These are the conditions under which I left New York City again, and moved back to West Africa.

My first plan upon arrival was to make a plan. So in September 2012, I listed all the things I wanted to have accomplished 12 months down the line. It was a big spread sheet, listing goals, and the monthly actions needed to be taken to accomplish each goal. As with most things I had no idea any of my plans would work out, but I figured, even if I didn’t get any of it done, I would at least learn something in the process.

I didn’t know anyone in business so I made a list of companies that I would go see, and tell them about myself, my experience, and my education. My first ‘cold call’ was at a TV station. I knew they probably wouldn’t have anything to offer directly, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to meet them.

I was able to get in to see the Deputy Manager. I took my CV, though I thought he wouldn’t read it. When I got in to see him I told him who I was, and what I could do. I left my CV, and went home, not expecting anything more because he told me they didn’t buy programming.

“No money, or job, but I knew I would have a place to sleep…”

A week later, he called and said that a friend of his was looking for someone with ideas to help develop marketing strategies for a local brand in Ghana. He said he remembered something on my CV that made him think of me. He took me to see his friend, who happened to be the C.E.O of one of Ghana’s oldest textile mills, Printex. The company has production capacity of 4 million meters a month.

Just 3 months after I signed Printex, I registered my company. In January 2013, I hired my first employee, and today I am happy to announce that Vickie Remoe & Co is a firm of 4 young women, and 1 young man. We are registered as a limited liability company in Ghana.

Our accountants Skew Global Ltd have registered us for VAT and we pay taxes. As I write they are working on our end of year accounts preparation and audit.

“…grow in an African country not of my birth”
I write all this to say that if 12 months ago I was told that I would be able to start and grow my own corporate communications firm in an African country not of my birth, publish two issues of GoWoman Magazine, sign two major Ghanaian brands as clients, and produce Sierra Leone’s first national Youth Excellence Awards, I would have laughed, and hissed.

My work even landed me a feature as an up-and-coming entrepreneur on MNET Africa Magic’s ‘Making of a Mogul’ on MultiChoice’s DSTV.

“…experience in branding, business and web development, social media management, marketing, media buying, and market research.”

Yes I worked often times 7 days a week, and pulled many late nights, but I also had lots of words of encouragement, and emails from many of you. Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora, and lovers of Swit Salone were constantly checking in on me. Here in Ghana strangers soon become friends, and cheerleaders.

Without all of your support, I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today. We have not yet reached the mountain top, but even down here it is still such a beautiful view. I took a chance on Ghana, and so far, so amazing!

Where ever you are, what ever you are doing I want to wish you and yours a joyful, and love-filled holiday season.

If you happen to need the services of a marketing agency in Ghana, and or Sierra Leone, do keep Vickie Remoe & Company in mind.

We have experience in branding, public relations, business and web development, social media management, marketing, media buying, and market research.

Thank you very much and have a wonderful 2014!

Wishing you nothing but the best,

From Vickie Remoe
and the rest of the team at VR & Co and all 13100 of our GoWoman fans on Facebook

Side Note: * Compared to most young women in West Africa I know I have had a very privileged background. My education alone puts me in a very small class of people. Perhaps no matter where you drop people like me class, and education would always make things a lot easier for us than others. Even something as small as having the confidence to go to an office to meet a stranger is something I know makes me very different from most young men, and young women on the continent.*

3 Comments
  1. I love it, your candor, your determination, your exuberance, your beauty (inside and out)… You’re truly a Go Woman! xo’s my dear
    —Yeatorma 😉

  2. Very happy I found your website…..It’s very inspiring for women who are wanting to become their own boss. ~ Sending love from Cincinnati, OH

  3. I am happy I have stumbled into your website. This article particularly has motivated me that I am on the right track. Thanks a lot may all your future endeavors be successful and blessed.

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