Over the years, fashion has evolved and shoes have been essential part of it. We all have various reasons why we pamper our feet with shoes; to some, just for the love of shoes and to others, shoes compliment the way they dress. This company, Hill Bill Shoes, identifies the three qualities men want in shoes, which is what it has set out to achieve.
Kindly tell us what your campus business is about?
Hill Bill Shoes is proudly a Ghanaian based shoe company which manufactures shoes primarily for men.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea was borne out of the desire to find a solution to my own problem. I realized there were hardly shoes out there that were beautiful, durable and affordable at the same time. These are the three things I look out for before buying a pair of shoes. The question I asked myself was, “why not engage our local craftsmen to help curb this issue.” That was the beginning of Hill Bill.
Which gap did you see and intend to bridge with your business?
I want people to have access to shoes that are good-looking, durable and affordable at the same time.
Does your campus inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship in students?
Currently, there has been an improvement in that respect especially with The University of Ghana Counselling and Placement Center, playing a major role in organizing entrepreneurial programs periodically and also giving opportunity to students to have access to funds for their ideas and businesses.
How do you manage to combine both academic work and business so you are not adversely affected?
It’s a challenge being in business and having academic duties at the same time. However, I usually plan my activities two or three days ahead so I don’t get caught off guard.
How did you determine there was market for your type of business?
I think every business has the capability to create their own customer base. That was literally what I did to get my products out there. Besides, everyone wears shoes.
How did you manage to raise your startup capital?
Initial capital were contributions from my family, my partner- Michael Opoku Kyei and my personal savings.
What is your business model and how do you make money?
What challenges do you come across and how are you handling them?
There is the challenge of production capacity and so we are not able to meet all our demand. However, we are working on getting a good space to maximize production. There is also the challenge of getting access to the needed raw materials for production.
Do you intend to continue with the business upon completing school?
Sure. I intend to make Hill Bill become the biggest shoe company in Ghana in the next three years and eventually become a global brand.
How did your colleagues and family respond to your new venture?
Well, some of my colleagues were glad about the fact that I have started something on my own. To some, it was a bit hard to tell what their response really was. My family however, were thrilled about the fact that I am doing something for myself.
What do you consider your most significant achievement so far as a Campus CEO?
Respect and recognition. People I believe did not think this would ever be possible for me now see me and just accord me that respect. That really excites me and as a matter of fact, urges me to do more.
What message do you have for colleague students who want to start their own businesses?
Just start, whatever idea you have, just put it to work. This does not only make people start taking you serious but also create opportunities for you to get investment for your business. I will also like to say that we should be positive minded and focus on the success of the business rather than failure. There is a saying that “everything you want is at the other side of fear”
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King Gideon: Meet the Student Entrepreneur Seeking to Fight Diabetes with His Pure Honey Business
Gideon Buluse Awalena is a final year student of the University of Ghana, offering Bsc Administration, troubled by the record number of Ghanaians who are diabetic resulting in severe consequences and it is for this reason that he starts a campus honey business called King Gideon Enterprise which is distributed nationwide.
The menace of diabetes is on the rise with statistics from the National Association of Diabetes Ghana estimating that one (1) out of four (4) Ghanaians you meet on the street will be diabetic by 2020. In 2017 alone, about 518,400 cases were recorded.
It is against this background, King Gideon Enterprise creates awareness for consumers to switch to the use of honey to reduce the high risk of diabetes which has become a national health problem.
In this story, he shares interesting insights on how he raised capital to start his campus business, how supportive family and friends were and why he will need further funding…
1. Kindly tell us what your campus business is about?
King Gideon Enterprise is established by Gideon Awelana Buluse. We transport honey from the northern part of the country to Accra and supply to individuals and organizations. Much of my sales are done on the University of Ghana campus.
2. Where did the idea for your business come from?
I am of the thought that it is only entrepreneurship that can help transform the lives of people in a country. Immediately I started level 100 and understood where I was coming from, I always looked for a business idea that I can start with little money and improve upon it as time goes on. I realized that the north has lots of sunshine and the trees there are also good for the production of honey and so I encouraged few men to start rearing them and I will buy it from them after harvest. That was after I had realized the persistent rise in diabetes in the country and so I capitalized on it to provide a substitute to sugar which has a lot of health benefits.
3. Which gap did you see and intend to bridge with your business?
The persistent rise of diabetes, and the numerous health benefits associated to honey are what I have seen.
4. Does your campus inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship in students and how?
Yes, many of the departments normally organized business talks and invite corporate personalities to speak to us on the need for entrepreneurship.
5. How do you manage to combine both academic work and business so you are not adversely affected?
I am bent on transforming the world with my honey business, so, I keep on putting hard work and determination on my table everyday. Sometimes I sleep for just 1 hour out of the 24 hours in a day.
6. How did you determine there was market for your type of business?
I spoke to some medical experts on rising diseases in the country and almost all of them mentioned diabetes. I asked of the remedy and they suggested that honey could be of a help but with a reservation that most of the honey that is being sold in the market is not pure. There I realized that if people got original honey they will be willing to buy.
7. How did you manage to raise your startup capital?
I did night watchman job to raise money to start King Gideon Enterprise.
8. What is your business model and how do you make money?
I use a combination of scalability and viability models.
9. What challenges do you come across and how are you handling them?
Funds to expand and to improve on packaging.
10. Do you intend to continue with the business upon completing school?
11. How did your colleagues and family respond to your new venture?
At first they were not supportive but now they are getting interested in the business.
12. What do you consider your most significant achievement so far as a Campus CEO?
My willingness to take the risk and start with the business.
13. What message do you have for colleague students who want to start their own businesses?
I encourage every young person to get it moving no matter the circumstance. I know it is hard, but our success is in the womb of time if we do not give up.
If you are convinced by Gideon’s story and want to reduce the risk of being diabetic, start ordering your pure honey from King Gideon Enterprise via contact number, 0504464117 and you can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you in any of the African tertiary institutions? Do you have a business you are running from campus? Let’s share your story to the world. Submit your profile here: CAMPUS C.E.O. FORM
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