My name is Edward Anassah, and I am proud to have attended St. Michael International School in Osu, Ghana, where the late Mr. Michael Nkrumah was a passionate advocate for formal and informal education (RIP). He is special, including his family. I also had the privilege of being part of the Osu Home JSS 97 group and attending the Ghana Armed Forces Technical School in Burma Camp.
My educational journey has taken me to Oakwood University and UW. Along the way, I have lived in diverse neighborhoods, such as Nyaniba Estate and Osu in Ghana, Lashibi, North Miami, Huntsville, Stratford, Waterloo, Toronto, and Ottawa.
I believe that each of these experiences has contributed to my growth and development as a person, and I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow throughout my life.
I consider myself incredibly blessed to have had an amazing support system throughout my life. My late parents, nuclear family, and close friends, especially the Y. family (you all know who you are; thank you!) have been a constant source of love, encouragement, and guidance.
I owe everything to Jah first and foremost, but I also want to give credit to my wonderful family and friends who have stood by me through thick and thin. Coming from a blue-collar middle-class family, I know how hard my parents worked to provide my amazing sister and me with the best education and everything else we needed to succeed in life. I will forever be grateful for their sacrifices and dedication to our happiness and welfare.
How did your parents’ hard work influence your values and work ethic?
Yes, my parents worked incredibly hard to provide for our family. They would walk long distances to sell bread, hot beverages, or porridge at 5 a.m. They did everything from running small businesses to trading, baking, selling charcoal, and more.
As a child, I was fortunate to work in my mother’s grocery store around the Lashibi area and also sell porridge, which taught me the value of hard work and entrepreneurship. However, as I grew older, I came to appreciate just how much effort goes into running a small, grassroots business and putting food on the table. I have immense respect for all those who work tirelessly to provide for their families and communities. This realization sparked my desire to create the Humble Beginning Stories platform, where I could shine a light on the struggles and successes of these small business owners.
I hope to inspire and empower others to pursue their dreams and create positive change in their communities. Humble Beginning Stories is a platform that amplifies the voices of those who are often marginalized and underrepresented in mainstream media. I believe that by sharing these stories, we can foster a greater sense of connection and empathy within our society and ultimately build a more equitable and just world for all.
What were your hurdles along the way?
Yes, I faced personal and social challenges while growing up and striving to make a difference in my community. Although my journey was far from perfect, I learned to appreciate and make the best of what I had. However, one of the most significant challenges I encountered was the loss of both my parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their passing was a devastating blow, and it took immense effort to overcome the grief and loss while continuing to work on my projects and other pursuits.
To help me cope with my loss, I joined a support group where I connected with others who had experienced similar losses. This group provided me with a safe and supportive environment to express my emotions and work through my grief. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, mental health was not a topic that was commonly discussed or promoted in society. However, I’m grateful that in today’s world, there’s more awareness and acceptance of the importance of mental health.
This has allowed me to avoid compartmentalizing my feelings and emotions and instead prioritize my mental well-being.
Despite facing many personal challenges, I persevered in my efforts to promote the value of small businesses and community leaders. Some individuals were initially resistant to change or skeptical about these issues, and it was up to me to convince them of their importance.
How has Humble Beginning Stories helped promote greater equality and provide opportunities for individuals from marginalized communities to experiment with their ideas and develop valuable skills?
Through my hard work and determination, I have been able to create a safe and inclusive space where people of all ages can freely experiment with their ideas and develop valuable skills. This is particularly important for individuals from marginalized communities who may not have access to traditional education or business resources. By providing these individuals with a platform to connect and access resources that can help them succeed, I have helped level the playing field and promote greater equality in our society.
Humble Beginning Stories is a passionate advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs, providing invaluable resources, guidance, and a platform for sharing success stories through our website, www.hbsblog.ca or www.hbeonline.com. Our blogs have been widely recognized and enjoyed by many readers.
As an individual, I always seek to push beyond the boundaries of my desk and comfort zone, searching for unique and innovative opportunities where creativity, hard work, brainstorming, teamwork, collaboration, and successful implementation come together. By working closely with entrepreneurs and influential community members, my ultimate goal is to empower others to discover their journey towards success and resilience.
What goals have you set for yourself at HBS, and what sets HBS apart from other platforms?
Our platforms, www.hbsblog.ca or www.hbeonline.com, have received widespread recognition, being featured in major media outlets such as Canvasrebel and Canadian SME. As the founder of both platforms, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be interviewed on various media platforms and collaborate with local photographers, conference organizers, and other businesses.
My ultimate goal is to continue supporting and inspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs. By building even stronger connections within our local community and beyond, we can echo the wonderful work done by citizens every day. As someone with roots in Ghana, my motherland, I also aim to give back to my community by providing support and resources to aspiring entrepreneurs. Our influence and impact in the entrepreneurial space are noteworthy, and I am dedicated to ensuring that our platforms remain a valuable resource for the small business community.
If you are passionate about sharing your amazing career, philanthropic story, personal journey, or simply making a difference, we at humblebeginningstories.com would love to hear from you! Please reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
As a community, we aim to inspire and empower one another by sharing our unique experiences and perspectives. We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and we welcome you to be a part of our platform.
What were the lessons learned to motivate others?
Remember, success is not measured by your failures; instead, identify one or two things you are good at and stick with them. As someone once advised me, stay in your lane and do your research before making assumptions. If you are passionate about something and want your project to succeed, be hopeful and put in the effort. Avoid undermining others, and remember that none of us is perfect. Before criticizing someone else, reflect on your own imperfections.
Be mindful of your feedback and the impact it can have on others. It’s an ongoing journey that I am also still working on.
Don’t allow anyone to steal your daily joy; some people may come into your life to make you feel miserable, but it’s important to embrace yourself and move forward.
Yes, it’s okay to cry and feel emotions, but don’t dwell on them for too long. As my godmother, Barb, would say, there’s never a perfect time; don’t wait for one. Make mistakes and learn from them, just as I have done countless times before.
Lastly, please check out the format for submitting stories on our website, www.hbsblog.ca or www.hbeonline.com, so you can prepare ahead of time. We would love to hear from you and share your inspiring story with our community.
Notable Nominations: by Canadian Small Business Medium Enterprise (CanadianSME).
– Diversity and Inclusion – Nominee 2022
- Start Up of the year Nominee 2021
- Black Entrepreneur of the year Nominee 2022
- Immigrant Entrepreneur of the year Nominee 2021
- Inspirational Leader of the year Nominee 2021/2022
Social media handles:
Instagram:@hbsblog & @eanassah