It was in 2006, school had reopened and students were reluctantly trickling in at the University Campus.
By divine intervention, I had barely gotten my fees. I packed the few items I had in my bag, armed with 5 liters of shito; it was time for survival again.
The money that had been raised for me was just enough to pay for my accommodation and tuition fees. I would be left with GHs 50 and there was no hope of immediate imbursement from home. This amount would have barely sustained me for two weeks, leaving me broke for the subsequent 14 weeks. The thought of hunger sent shivers up my spine. It was also not in my DNA to beg, especially for food. As I kept pondering on what to do, “I thought to myself, “every student on campus will need exercise books to take lecture notes, why don’t I buy books and sell on campus?”
So I went to the Accra central market, and found a wholesaler who gave me a sweet deal for the exercise books. I loaded the medium size “Ghana Must Go” bag and continued to take Public transport to the university campus.
On getting to campus, I found it extremely embarrassing to go to my colleagues and sell exercise books. After two days of hesitation, I mustered courage, packed some of the books in my back pack and entered the first room, after the usual pleasantries, I mentioned to the occupants that I have exercise books to sell, the first comment from one of the guys, really broke my heart, he was like” eii Roland, has it gotten to that? What kind of poverty in your family will drive you to sell books?” I almost cried. This comment got all his friends bursting into uncontrollable laughter. I just kept me calm and then asked,” So boss, how many copies of the book will you buy?” he gleefully replied, “chale give me 10 books for now. All his roommates and their female friends also bought at least 10 books each. Moving into the subsequent rooms was much easier, before I could cover half of the first floor; all my books had been bought!
I counted my revenue and realized I had made 100% profit! Wow! I immediately phoned a friend who was to arrive on campus the following day to go to my wholesaler and buy me two more books.
The books arrived the following day, and they all got finished in 24 hours.
Just then some colleagues came to my room to enquire if I also sold pen drives, I replied, I can get you pen drives, but you have to pay 50% upfront. I received the monies, sent it to another good friend in Accra who knew where to get the best pen drives for the lowest of prizes at the Kojo Thompson road.
Two days later, I supplied the pen drives and made more than 80% margins and my prizes were still competitive.
Before I realized, I had a thriving business in my hands, dealing in stationery, computers and accessories. I also bought a number of printers and gave it to other students to run printing services. We then shared the profit .That is how I accidentally stepped into the corridors of entrepreneurship. I registered my first company, Narolak Concepts.
I made more than enough money to sustain my education for the rest of my University years. I continued the business after school and at a point felt the need to acquire some corporate experience before going back to entrepreneurship.
So you see, there is always a way out, you have so much in you to meet your current and future needs without begging! Go out there with that little idea, you will be despised, mocked but at the end you will make it. See you t the top.