Meet the Akyeampongs…experts in detergents
Their products have been described by users as the best on the market. When, Mrs. Akyeampong goes for distribution, customers will not allow her to even settle, but rush on her, thinking others will outpace them if they are not fast enough to be the first to get their supplies. Find out what makes their products so different.
Dennis Akyeampong and his wife Mary Akyeampong are the Co-Founders of Mayden View Ventures. They have three children.
Mr. Akyeampong, now a pastor, has been a trader for most part of his life. He used to import products from Togo and move from shop to shop to sell them.
For Mrs. Akyeampong, she worked with a food cannery as a cleaner for three years. There, she undertook a short programme in the company and qualified to be a monitor. After working in the monitoring department for a year, she resigned to try her hands on something new and get more time for her family needs as well.
However, after she resigned, she became short of ideas on what to do. But her husband had an idea.
The birth of the soap business
As leader of a church, Mr. Akyeampong wanted to help his congregation appreciate the value of working secularly to support themselves. So, he made arrangements for someone to come to the church and teach interested members a kind of trade which will help unemployed members, especially the ladies, be able to set up easily. He got someone who was into making liquid soaps and bleaches for washing.
To his disappointment, even though members of the church successfully completed the training, none of them took it as their full-time job.
Sometime later, Mrs. Akyeampong’s younger sister approached her so say that, her company, a food cannery, wanted someone who could supply it with detergents for washing hands, and cleaning the factory.
So, Mrs. Akyeampong told her husband and they decided to apply the knowledge they also acquired from the training. When the first batch of the products were delivered, the company was very satisfied with the potency of the detergents and decided to request more.
However, the food cannery requested that before it proceeds to do business with the Akyeampongs, they had to register their products and the company. And that is how Mayden View Ventures begun.
How the product stands out
Unlike some other detergent producers who do not combine the right and required amounts of ingredients to produce very potent products, the Akyeampongs make sure they do the right thing. All ingredients are mixed in right quantities to give it the efficacy it needs.
At the initial stages, they started producing liquid soap and detergents. But Mrs. Akyeampong has upgraded her knowledge by taking a one-month training programme on how to make antiseptic products. So, currently, they have added other products likes softeners and antiseptics.
As usual, financial constraints fall on top of the major challenges they face. Preparing the detergents manually is a very laborious work which requires a lot of time and energy. They need to buy some tools and machines which will help speed up processes at work, but the funds are not available to do that at present.
Again, they need to acquire a more spacious place for their production. Currently, they are operating from a neighbour’s house. They plan to acquire a bigger space so they can carry out their expansion work.
How government can support
Mr. and Mrs. Akyeampong believe government can offer support to start-up businesses by helping them with access to capital. In an era where it has become almost impossible for small businesses to borrow from the banks, they posit, government should step in to help.
Another area they feel government should support businesses is in respect of training, especially as far as marketing is concerned.
The Akyeampongs have the vision of producing on a larger scale and supplying across the country in order to make their products very sought after.
Advice to the youth
For Mr. Akyeampong, the best advice he has for the youth who want to enter into entrepreneurship is for them to overcome their fears.
“I have realised many youths are afraid to leave their comfort zones. They fear they will fail if they try. But trying and failing is part of the learning process and it eventually makes you a better person. So, they should try and I believe they will succeed.”
For Mrs. Akyeampong, the youth should not look down on any job.
“Sometimes, when young ones come out of school, they see certain jobs to be below their dignity. But I want to advise them that there are no jobs in the system and so they should learn to start something on their own but not always rely on people to employ them. They can be self-employed.”