Chris Koney’s column … Starting a business with nothing


We are currently in unusual times and it appears the world wouldn’t be the same after the dust from the novel coronavirus pandemic settles. Our lives, ways of doing things and most likely our paradigm as a people is likely to be hugely affected.

Yaw Owusu is a serial entrepreneur and business analyst who and the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Key 360 Group, a company providing financial inclusion strategy for financial organizations and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. GK Properties is a subsidiary of Golden Key 360 Group which focuses on investments in the real estate and property sector.

Over the weekend, I met up with Yaw Owusu, an astute business executive with two decades cross-territory cross-functional experience with core competence in sales operations, leadership and people management. Yaw started who was selling from an early age to support his parents to enable him have his education believes that all what a person needs in this life to make a dollar and embark on the million-dollar journey from zero is his or her “aura”.

“I have met people with amazing ideas that could change the world and I get disappointed the moment they attribute their inability to kick start their business to capital. Starting up when you know you have nothing seems unlikely as the word nothing means not any-thing. But guess what, you are something with nothing and that means everything,” he emphasized.

He explained how someone with nothing can overcome all assumed challenges to set up a viable business using his personal story. “Twenty years ago, I was waiting for my SSSCE results to pursue my tertiary education. I was young and captivated with what money could do for me and was always thinking of how to make it. I used to think about all the things I would want to buy when I made money.

I felt it was impossible to see this dream materialize if not through fame, inheritance, lottery, or sheer luck as stated in many articles in those days. And just so you know, I had a bit of fame as the youngest disc jockey playing for the best night club (Foxtrap GH) in the nineties, I won a lottery of GH¢5000 and also inherited my father’s wardrobe when he died. All these weren’t enough to help me realize my dream.”

Responding to what could have worked the magic for him, Yaw said “fostering a strong attitude of humility and honesty is the most important aspect of starting from nothing and not just the business procedures.  These inner qualities are fundamental tools of a business character that precedes all other structures on a business plan,” he responded.

According to Yaw, other very important values he has discovered on his journey are patience and perseverance. “To mepatience and perseverance in every business are the most important character trait needed to achieve success. When you have patience and can persevere then you become a time-believer, term I use to refer to someone who has an absolute belief that things will work out with time when there is constant action.”

Prior to registering his first business in 2007, Yaw did not know that he could get paid for all the services he was offering for free. “My business in 2007 was to reach out to people who knew more than I did or had knowledge about things I had not done and were willing to give advice. I provided support services to their businesses which made me learn. I believe this is a great way to create a niche and grow beyond what you may have achieved for yourself”, he revealed.

In concluding our conversation, Yaw stated that with the values of patience and perseverance backed by humility and honesty, the aura of a person’s personality is revealed which comes off as a positive vibe with the people they come across. It makes a lot of difference!

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