From providing a huge market base to giving entrepreneurs room to enhance/sustain their brand image and extensively market their products, social media is really making a difference.
This article features an Inspiring Start-up of a medical doctor whose judicious use of social media has made her an entrepreneur.
Born and raised in Koforidua, Dr. Alberta Amissah Asiedu is a product of Holy Child Senior High School and proceeded to medical school at Zhejiang University in China.
After her training as a doctor, she worked in China as a teacher for a few years – later returning to Ghana to practice her profession as a medical doctor.
Like her parents, Alberta is very business-minded. She did not glue herself to the medical profession alone but also sought out business opportunities.
She took advantage of her fluency in Chinese and became somewhat a middle-woman for doctors and other businessmen and women who wanted to purchase medical equipment from China to set up hospitals or laboratories.
One day, while surfing through the social media platform Instagram, she came across a page that was advertising a training programme on how to make soaps for bathing. She signed onto the programme and attended the lessons, which cost her just GH¢50.
After the training, she tried her hand at what she had learned and successfully made some bar soaps. Then she introduced it to friends, family, and colleagues at her workplace, just to test the market.
The feedback from them was awesome, as all those who tried the product came back with positive responses.
Some started asking for other skincare products like body creams made of different ingredients. This gave Alberta the idea of expanding by adding new varieties to her line of products. But as a medical doctor, she wouldn’t do that without any research and training.
She enrolled in a Diploma course on cosmetics-making at Formula Botanica, an organic cosmetic formulation school in the UK.
After the course, she became fully equipped to expand the business to include body creams, scrubs, and other skincare products that give individuals healthy and glowing skin regardless of their complexions.
Nurture Skin and social media
Nurture skin is a collection of natural, handmade skin-care and hair care products that have many benefits, including giving the skin a flawless and beautiful glowing look. This is confirmed by all clients who have used the products, as they keep recommending them to others.
These days, the power of social media platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, among others cannot in any way be underestimated.
Currently Nurture Skin has about 25 care products, with a lot of varieties including stretch-mark gel, mineral sunshine lotion, turmeric body butter, body scrubs, turmeric body oil, pamper bath soap, turmeric body and facial scrub, and strawberry body scrub.
Others are liquid black soap, beer soap, mocha latte soap, neem soap, rose clay soap, milk soap, turmeric and rice milk soap, turmeric and egg, turmeric and oatmeal, charcoal soap, and many others.
One thing that Alberta says makes her product unique is the fact that she has a medical background and so knows what is or isn’t good for the skin. So, she makes sure all the ingredients she uses have no harmful effect on the skin.
“Because I already have a medical background, it makes it easier to understand the skin and pick the right ingredients for the products I am making, so it gives the exact result the client desires.
“Our products are 100 percent natural. They are made from quality natural, gluten-free ingredients for smooth skin. They’re of original quality, well-prepared with quality ingredients for essential skin needs. They are organic nutrients enriched to protect your skin and help repair it.
“Our products are of good quality, but however very affordable. Everybody is able to afford them. We don’t overprice our products. Our packaging, too, is top-notch,” she said.
Nurture Skin envisages expanding, opening more shops nationwide, and also exporting its products. Nurture Skin wants to become a household brand for skincare products.
“I am also studying to become an Aesthetic Physician. The plan is to open an aesthetic clinic that will handle various skin concerns; not just limited to treating acne, eczema, etc., but also using modern technologies to enhance beauty and defy aging. We will be doing lasers, vampire facials, hair transplants and so many more,” she indicated.
She further added that Nurture Skin will expand her charitable arm to cover more girls in her quest to provide sanitary pads for the poor in rural areas.
“Currently, one percent of our profits go toward providing sanitary pads for girls in impoverished areas. We also educate them on bleaching and its horrible side effects. We would like to reach more people and help reduce period poverty in Ghana.”
For Alberta, the major challenge she faces as an entrepreneur is having to import raw materials for production as well as having to rely on foreign markets for quality packaging – which makes her cost of operations rise.
The Ghanaian taste for bleaching products has also been a challenge to contend with for local skincare producers, she said.
“Another challenge is that, in our part of the world, almost everyone wants to bleach; so we always have to compete with other companies who are pro-mixing,” she said.
Safe and efficient delivery of her products is another major problem she encounters, as most of the delivery businesses are not reliable. The regular increment in fuel prices has also worsened their plight, as delivery fees have become quite unbearable for customers, Alberta says.
How government must support
Alberta advises that government must put forth policies that can make doing business quite easy and affordable in the country.
Economic empowerment for women
Alberta believes that every woman needs to be economically empowered, especially in this current dispensation when it is crucial for women to equally assist men to manage their homes and families.
“It is good to be involved economically; it’s not just about empowering yourself. I don’t think we are in an era when the men have to go out and strive to bring bread home alone. Now it is all hands on deck. If we want a better future, then women also have to be willing to contribute,” she said.
Advice for prospective entrepreneurs
“Prospective entrepreneurs must be ready because it is not really easy – especially when you don’t know what the outcome will be. I always say entrepreneurship is not for the weak; but even if you are not good at it, you can practice and learn. Be ready mentally to face whatever outcome that you get,” she said.
Social media handles
Contact: 0505770779 / 0201218802