My entrepreneurial journey as the branded market woman. This is my story.
“My name is Elselund Ewudzie-Sampson, but my friends used to call me Elsie but now it’s changing to Adwoa Agbogbloshie. I’m the 3rd of 4 children. I’m 24years old and a graphic designer by profession. I attended KNUST where I studied B.A. Communication Design.
I have always had that entrepreneurship spirit in me, I believe I took after my mom when it comes to that. As early as 7-8 years I started my first business of selling Gari, sugar and roasted groundnuts on my school’s compound. We lived in Awutu Breku then. It continued with candies and some pastries when we moved to Koforidua on transfer because of my dad’s job as a pastor.
About my entrepreneral path with Big Samps Market I didn’t see it coming, because I never liked going to the market, or doing food related stuff apart from finding suitable and attractive packages. I love art and design and it has inspired most of my career decisions, so through my research for suitable packaging for our local food ingredients (which I was passionate about) I came across grocery shopping online and that’s how Big Samps was conceived.
I made the decision and chose to be a market woman because, It was going to be something different and I was going to help people solve a great problem and also support the agric industry in Ghana.
The main service the business provide is Grocery delivery, for individuals, food vendors and processors in small and large quantities. We also go ahead to process some of our food ingredients to our clients so they don’t get spoilt easily. Then we go the extra mile of getting recipes for clients or helping them with the choice of ingredients for a particular meal(especially the men?).
With respect to Africa, I think Entrepreneurship is the solution to some of our problems but first our mindset. If we don’t change how we think we can’t even be entrepreneurs and we can’t cause any change. Which means the continent will be the same forever. Because if I had decided to think about my educational background, the place I work, then I wouldn’t have decided to go to the market, carry loads and interact with these women just to solve a problem with agricultural supply chain and post harvest losses.
In the next 5 years I want Big Samps-Agbogbloshie to be a household name, a brand known for its unique service provision. I wouldn’t mind if 5 years time people will just call me by Adwoa Agbogbloshie and not know my other names, then it means I’ve made a great impact. I want my business to be strongly established in atleast Accra and Kumasi in 5years, and also exporting local food ingredients ( raw and processed ) to other parts of the world. We should have created a lot of employment for young women especially in 5years. We should be known internationally. Also, we should have a physical local food market where one can get every local food ingredient they need if they want to have the feel of shopping for their own items like in the local markets.
We should have greatly helped solve post harvest loss through our service delivery, by providing ready market and seriously bridging the supply chain.
I don’t know what my biggest challenge has been. I feel like they’re just small challenges that I found solutions to easily. About giving up, I always say I can’t explain to everyone why I will stop following this big dream, because they’ll ask when I fail. But if I don’t give up and I keep winning, we’ll all get excited and I won’t be thinking about what to say. I’ve come too far to give up.
The idea of serving keeps me awake!
Big Samps gets me out of bed and keeps me awake at nights all because I have people to serve. I need to be awake early to meet timelines of delivery to clients and be awake at night putting together clients lists for their deliveries.
Starting business with no means for funding is a big challenge. Especially when I got the idea I thought I needed, GHS 10,000, then I knew there was no way I could raise that money knowing my background, then I came down to 5000, then 2000, 1000 and finally I started with GHS 100. I did my checks till I realized I didn’t need any big money to start, I just had to be strategic, like starting the business from home and saving rent cost, using a third party dispatch company rather than getting my own bike, like starting with family as staff members for free than recruiting and many more.
The GHS 100 was from my personal savings, I don’t believe in loans to start a business. Just give yourself time to strategize and then start. For all you know you don’t need much.
I realised that I could have started earlier than I did, that I just needed some simple strategies to get things going, I wish I had been more outspoken and had not been scared to birth my dream.
My greatest inspiration has been my love for art and Family. My love for art has inspired every career decision I’ve taken and my family has been the reason why I have and will never give up on my dreams, we’ve been through a lot and I have every reason now to make them proud.
If I am to begin life again, I would just start this same entrepreneurship journey early, without any fears, just determination. I’ll still be an artist/graphic designer, an Agbogbloshie Princess and every other thing I am now and becoming.”