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Meet the Startup Constantly Inspired by What Steve Jobs Would Do, Ujustadd

Ujustadd.com is connecting you to best choices for an increased income as a buyer and seller.

Emmanuel Appiah
This startup company was launched in August 2015. Its 28 year old C.E.O. and Co-founder Emmanuel Appiah, who hails from Ghana’s 2nd biggest city, Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region, is helping put money into your pocket in a more realistic manner than the typical politician would promise. For you content providers and sellers, this startup assures you of a more consistent way of reaching target buyers.

The UJUSTADD app makes it easier for sellers, shops & service providers manage and sell their stock, content, items, products and services in a properly structured shelfing system. Emmanuel promises the consumer, viewer & window shopper, an app that truly helps you find all the stuffs you have been looking for in no time and get you glued to your favorite shops, sellers & service providers with the sole aim of helping you increase your income.

This short interview reveals what interestingly motivates the UJUSTADD team and their outlook on investment among other revelations. Let’s spend time with this startup on how it tends to create a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers.

Emmanuel, what primarily is UJUSTADD, which you have introduced unto the market?

Ujustadd is an app that connects sellers & content providers to buyers & viewers with a clear aim of helping both sides increase their income.

What problems do you intend solving by developing your app?

Ujustadd seeks to simplify the ease of finding just the right products, services & content with a bottom line of helping its user increase their income.

What are the inviting features of this service that should get users excited?

Ability to seamlessly find products, services & content like never before.

What is the competence of your team?

Persistence, focus, highly technologically inclined and management & finance geeks.

What is your business model since every successful company makes profits?

We basically sell shelf spaces to sellers or content publishers.

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How did you come up with your startup capital?

Family and self-financing. And currently, a couple of prospective investors for series A in line.

How did you start your company, especially coming with up the idea?

We decided to build an app for ourselves to use. An app that would help us save time and money whenever we wanted to buy something or had an idea to get ready to buy something. Using the streets of Adum and Kejetia in Kumasi as reference market place for the beta testing and successive development.

Do you have mentors and how have they contributed to ujustadd?

Yes. My key mentor is the late Steve Jobs and his firm believe in the journey being the reward. Most of the design approach and equipment and applications we use here at ujustadd.com are from the brain children of this great mentor. It may sound funny, we end up asking the question of “What Would Steve Jobs Do?” (WWSJD) almost every time we are faced with a challenge in what we do here.

Since your company recently started, what is your chance of making it pass the five year ceiling for a lot of young businesses and what lessons have you learnt so far that you want to share with us?

We have learnt lessons from other apps and solutions we built some of which never even saw the light of day and for those that did, they did not live to see the next dawn. The bottom line for us from all those mild failures is to have the end user core-ly in mind and not just keep all focus on the product only. We have also learnt to be and remain profitable from previous experiences.

What will be success for you looking into the future?

A fully grown stack of a new ecosystem stemming from the one we have, where almost everything seems to be connected and our users are consistently experiencing an increase in income; seller or buyer.

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What advice will you give to anyone venturing into the tech industry in Africa?

You have got to love what you are doing. Passion is key here and infact is everything. If you don’t find joy in what you do, then it’s time to take a shift. The key question here would be, if you have all your basic needs (shelter, clothing, feeding, etc.) met somehow, what would you do? Or an even simpler question would be, if you had 30 days to live before you die, what would you do before you die? Find the answer and start doing that thing today.

What mistakes have you made as the founder of this company and what lessons are there to share?

One mistake I had earlier made was imagining that users would like something because I like it too. It’s funny how this works. You have to listen to the users totally. Remember, without them you don’t have a business.

What difficulties have you faced since bringing this app into the market and how are you battling them?

Well, I would have mentioned the power problem but we solved that 8 months ago. Our current challenge is yet to be really found. More so because, here at UJUSTADD, we believe that the future only exist because we took actions today to create it.

What is your philosophy of doing business and do you think everybody can become an entrepreneur?

My philosophy of doing business hovers around the core mandate of being a problem solver and remaining indispensable to the recipients of the solutions. I personally do think anyone can become an entrepreneur but there are certain core behaviours and attitudes they need to have. A typical example would be the “Never give up attitude”, “financial discipline”, to mention but a few.

Startups always do make themselves available for any funding opportunity. So, how will you pitch ujustadd to a potential investor?

Well, that said, at UJUSTADD, we don’t just accept any funding. The investor would have to match us squarely.

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The pitch is, UJUSTADD is mobile app that connects sellers & buyers to help both parties increase their income.

Give Africa a picture of where you foresee ‘ujustadd’ in the next five years?

In five years we hope to have crossed the 1 billion download mark with over 60% monthly active users and a base average income increase of 15-20% or more for our users.

What is most interesting and rewarding about being your own boss?

For me, it has been the ability to live a very free life and be in a world where I get to be dynamically creative towards solutions to problems and helpful to so many people and help make the world a better place, one person at a time.

Seize the opportunity to inspire budding entrepreneurs across Africa and a message to your followers.

When I was kid I used to believe in a world where there was a solution to every problem and this is the time to fully live that dream and wake up seeing it being reinforced by every square inche of it. I trust that with that believe and a spirit of never giving up, we can make Africa a solutions hotspot and not the opposite.

Thank you Emmanuel.

To create a shelf for your products and services just sign up on www.ujustadd.com. Call +233 242 550 332, send emails to ujustadd@gmail.com for further enquiries. Put your ideas to work today and see you at the top.

Take this lessons away with you from Emmamuel Appiah:

  • Don’t quit even if your idea doesn’t see the light of day.
  • To stay afloat, learn to be profitable.
  • Doing business in Africa requires a lot of passion.
  • Imagining the market will like your idea is not enough, do proper research.
  • Your concept should solve a real problem.

If you want to share your experience as a startup founder on TSH to Africa, send a brief detail of your business to mystartup@thespiritedhub.com

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An entrepreneurship enthusiast, who believes Africans and Africa can have accelerated development if a lot more of us embrace our God-giving talents and effect positive changes in our society.

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FOUNDERS

Rahmon Ojukotola: StartCredits Hopes to Save Nigerians Billions of Naira

High interest rates on loans are a barrier to growth and economic prosperity, which is why StartCredits has developed an innovative way for Nigerians to borrow quick online loans without collateral on its loan market comparison platform.

It is the aim of this fin-tech startup to help Nigerians access finance and save money by comparing loan providers. Rahmon, the Director of StartCredits is strategically growing this company to be the preferred loan market for a number of online borrowers.

Rahmon Ojukotola currently sits on the advisory board to the Florida schools group and previously worked at the Bank of England and UBS. Our startup founder, is also a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Royal Economic Society.

With these credentials, he surely has what it takes to lead the competitive loan market. Let’s find out what Rahmon has brought into the market and his life as an entrepreneur.

 

How is StartCredits disrupting the traditional borrowing in Africa as you suggest?

StartCredits is disrupting traditional borrowing, as our product provides transparency and increases competition in the market to reduce interest rates for qualified borrowers. It also provides a new channel for Nigerians to borrow money.

From your enviable background why did you decide to leave all that to start a startup in Nigeria?

I worked in investment banking and central banking for a number of years and gained a finance MSc from the London School of Economics and chartered qualifications in accounting, investments, securities and finance. I decided to build a startup in Nigeria because there were opportunities and issues that needed tackling, and I thought I had the right skill set to do so. So I gave up a well paying job and decided to come back to try and build something that would hopefully contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria.

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How unique are features of StartCredits?

We are the first and only business in Nigeria offering our services to all Nigerians who need loans. We have developed innovative proprietary risk models that accurately measure the borrowers probability of default. This improves our partner lenders’ ability to assess risk, and enables them to disperse more loans to qualified borrowers.

What has been the major achievement StartCredits has chalked since you commenced operation?

We have helped thousands of Nigerians to save millions of naira in interest rate so far and hope to save billions of naira in the coming years.

As much as people really need loans, Rahmon, what is your advice to stay out of debts?

My advice to Nigerians is to ensure you do not take out loans to fund lavish expenditures, loans should be used to finance good business plans. Also remember to budget for interest and other fees in any loans you do take, to stay out of debt. For more technical advice on debt management visit our website on http://startcredits.com

One of the notable features of your company is the stress on Data Science, how relevant is it?

Data science is at the heart of what we do at StartCredits. We utilise big data analytics to build innovative credits risk models, which help facilitate affordable lending to underserved qualified borrowers.

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What great challenge are you facing in running your startup?

It’s pretty much to do with the adoption of the technology. Technology in general is all about finding the best ways to do things. In certain industries it’s easier to have the incumbents accept that, whereas in finance, people have become entrenched in how they do things. It’s highly profitable, so there’s more resistance to changing a winning formula. Finance is highly resistant to change, but people are slowly starting to adapt as you’re seeing with Blockchain technology, which I think has the potential to revolutionize the finance industry. The banks are slowly coming around, but are still highly resistant to change given the nature of the business. In Nigeria, it’s mostly trying to get the people to use the technology. People are highly suspicious of new technologies, so it’s a bit of a challenge

How do you foresee this industry going into the future?

The lending market in Nigeria will be one driven primarily by digital lending in the future, as it is more efficient. I also feel we will continue the cultural tradition of thrift lending (Ajo, Esusu), as it fosters community cohesion.

Tell us which African entrepreneurs inspire you and why.

I think all African entrepreneurs that have built successful business in the face of significant challenges deserve commendation. Saying that I find Ola Orekunrin’s work saving lives with flying doctors to be truly inspiring to all Nigerians and especially young girls. She is a role model who shows them if they study and work hard they can have a significant impact on the lives of many in Nigeria.

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What financial advice can you share with fellow startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs across Africa?

My advice to entrepreneurs across Africa is to make sure that everything you’re doing is simultaneously helping you achieve your goals and make profits as well. Don’t leverage too much and try not to grow too fast. Also, make sure that what you’re doing is what people want. The whole point of doing business is addressing the needs of society. So make sure you do your extensive research, go out and meet people to listen to what they’re saying, and make sure you have the right skill set to execute your plan. Once all of that is in place, you’re good to go.

Thank you, Rahmon!

To find out more about loan rates and the company, kindly visit startcredits.com.


If you want to share your experience as a startup founder on TSH to Africa, send a brief detail of your business to mystartup@thespiritedhub.com


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