One advantage entrepreneurs of our time have is innovation. The scientific community today has created a platform for innovation, especially, among young people. And so, young men and women of our time who venture into entrepreneurship are making things through technology and innovation. Today, in this economic crisis Ghana is facing, there have been calls on the government to ban goods that can be locally produced to improve the market.
Interestingly, there are young entrepreneurs already in the system, adding value to local produce. One such inspiring innovator is Sharon Ayertey Yomle, who is defying all odds in Dodowa to add value to Gari.
Sharon Ayertey Yomle grew up at Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region. She is a product of Krobo Girls in the eastern region, where she read business. She had her first degree in Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Cape Coast.
Sharon, like most young Ghanaians, was attracted to securing a corporate job after school, though she had a business plan. She intends to start this project during her retirement. However, she was privileged to join the British council and Giz Jobs in Africa incubation program.
Yomle Foods Birth
The idea to start Yomle Foods was born at the British Council and Giz Jobs for Africa incubation program where one facilitator advised her to start from somewhere. The advice ignited something in her to take that step with the little resources she had. The first resource at her disposal started her first product, Yommy Soya gari and it was welcomed on the market. Subsequently, she added the soya Gari mix, Tombrown, Rice cereal mix, ginger powder, and others.
Yomle foods seek to be a sustainable food production hub as she planned to give more income to rural farmers and women by engaging their services in producing these products. This gives them a livelihood and a market for their farm produce.
The impact of the Orange Program
She admits that as a graduate of the just-ended acceleration program, Orange Corners, organized by the Netherlands embassy and its partners, it has given her a whole new idea of the future direction of Yomle foods in the next 5 years through the pragmatic steps in place to achieve that.
Challenges as a Young Entrepreneur
She explained that as a small-scale business, she encounters many challenges, especially funding. For instance, the price of raw materials, packaging materials, and penetrating the current market with the products have been major issues. Though, faced with these challenges, she is grateful to the Ghana Enterprise agency for being available and providing entrepreneurial support to young businesses.
Advise to government
She notes that there have been meetings and suggestions in the soya beans value chain and hopes the government will listen to these tabled concerns of those in the value chain and provide the needed solutions to stop the increment of such products to enable small-scale businesses to stay in business.