Jane Reason Ahadzie is the Chief Executive Officer of JRA Cosmetics. A true industrialist at heart, she began her entrepreneurial journey at a relatively tender age where she fantasised enthusiastically of being one of Africa’s successful business magnet.
Determined to make her childhood dream a reality, Ms. Ahadzie unleashed her brilliance, unprisoned her potency, and ventured into the big leagues of iconic entrepreneurs as a fashion designer with the trade name ‘STOPOVER AFRICAN WEAR HOUSE’ in Takoradi. She sewed and sold different apparel.
The daughter of David Kwaku Ahadzie and Augustina Yekporso Seshie (both from the Volta Region of Ghana) Ms. Ahadzie is not the type who shies away from exploration and adventure. She used the savings she made from her brief stint in the fashion industry to set up the JRA Cosmetics.
“My intuition got me searching and praying and I got a revelation through which I tried my hands on, yielded the desired results and we have today, ”JRA”” Ms. Ahadzie told B&FT’s Mohammed Awal.
Established in 1999 as a small-scale enterprise in Takoradi in the Western Region, JRA Cosmetics has grown into a fully-fledged company with innovative, diverse, and widely acceptable brands of products, making it a force to reckon with within the cosmetics industry.
The company manufactures cosmetic products from household to personal care products to satisfy its cherished customers both in Ghana and abroad, boasting of over 35 registered and certified products from Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), and other regulatory bodies.
Some of the products include: JRA Body Cream & Body Lotion, JRA Cleanser Bathing Gel, JRA Lion Antiseptic, JRA Everyday Fresh Liquid Detergent, JRA Skin Rashes (Ointment), JRA Bone To Bone (Balm), JRA African Alata Soap, JRA African Fresh Bathing Gel, JRA Jaseline Pomade, JRA Style Wig Oil, JRA Hair Treatment, JRA Hair Conditioner, JRA Hair Food, JRA Hair Setting Lotion, JRA Nice Style Hair Shampoo, JRA Parazona (Bleach), just to mention a few.
David Kwaku Ahadzie’s unwavering fatherly love was the key driving force to his daughter’s success as an entrepreneur. “My Dad had a special love for me. In fact, he called me in my infancy ‘great reason’, explaining that he saw much of greatness in me and that I will grow up and be a great person. I can say he loved me so much that he always invited me to pray for him before he sets out every morning. This drew me closer to God [and] my vision was revealed as I grew closer and closer to God,” Ms. Ahadzie told B&FT.
“So, I can say JRA’s vision was God’s intent or ability to transform and plan, to using my imagination of becoming a leader through services to mankind. So I can say very much that God is the key driving force that led me into entrepreneurship,” she added.
Born Great Jane Reason Akushika Ahadzie, Ms. Ahadzie counted on her dad for support to pursue “my vision of becoming an entrepreneur but unfortunately, he died early in December 1979 so I had to struggle under the uncertainties of this country.”
Producing her products manually, she supplied them in little quantities to peers and family members and later to schools. The turnaround came when she added hospitals to her clientele. “That is when all turned around for me. Other opportunities came after the other,” she recalled.
Asked how she successfully built her customer base, Ms. Ahadzie who used to hawk her products in markets in the capital—a testament of her determination to make real her childhood fantasy of being a successful entrepreneur, said “it’s God’s mercy. I depend solely on God for direction.”
Ms. Ahadzie partnered with some churches in the capital when she relocated to Accra, supplying them her products and also donating to the needy through the churches—a move that “indirectly promoted my business and increased my customer-base through referrals and now JRA is sold nationwide and beyond,” she stated.
Since its inception, JRA Cosmetics has received many enviable and uncountable awards from both local and international bodies for its successes in the manufacturing of cosmetic products; a few of such recent awards are from the West African Nobles Forum, Heroes Awards, West African International Governance & Leadership Awards, the Entrepreneurship Foundation of Ghana as the indigenous best company in Quality Cosmetic Products.
Despite these glorious recognitions, Ms. Ahadzie remains unwaveringly focused, working eight hours minimum and 12 hours maximum monitoring productions and or on phone calls with clients regarding invoices and payments.
“Becoming an entrepreneur has intentionally excused me or has eliminated me from having a family life. Once an entrepreneur makes up his or her mind to serve humanity, family life suffers the most,” she stated, usually spending the little time she has motivating, meditating, and communicating to God who has been her driving force for new ideas and challenges. “Randomly I also surf the internet to find new ideas to challenge myself,” she added.
Success to Ms. Ahadzie is being able to transform and bring into existence what is being revealed to you or what you sought to imagine and achieve and like every other successful entrepreneur she habours some fears—the fear of failing humanity. “Due to my personal experience, the fear of not being able to encourage and not being able to create livelihood to the unprivileged has rather turned to be my faith in God. OH YEAH!! For with God, all things are possible,” she told B&FT.
According to a September 2020 World Bank report titled “Youth Employment Programs in Ghana: Options for Effective Policy Making and Implementation”, Ghana is faced with 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries.
Despite major investments by both government and private sector, this challenge will intensify if job opportunities remain limited. To escape the country’s shackles of youth or graduate unemployment, the Ghanaian graduate is advised to take up entrepreneurship.
“One can be an entrepreneur without a certificate,” Ms. Ahadzie told B&FT. “It is not a job position you can apply for but what you can offer in these days.” She, however, feared that entrepreneurs in Ghana have been ludicrously hyped and that the word has been overused and has lost its meaning.
That notwithstanding, she said: “I believe that an entrepreneur is a person who lives his life on his or her term not looking like a boss, but making life challenging decisions. So Entrepreneur is your love and dedication to work.”
According to her, for one to be a successful entrepreneur he or she must:
- Understand the skills needed to communicate effectively and efficiently.
- Be somebody that is result-driving and focus
- Have the desire to learn and adopt different business strategies
- Establishing daily routine
- Frequent exercising
- Eating a good and healthy diet
- Finding a mentor and;
- Investing their time in their family
JRA Cosmetics can confidently boast of active direct employees numbering 500 and indirectly 1,500 beneficiaries in the retail sector as a result of hard work, quality assurance, and convenient delivery of products to its loyal customers.
It also engages in charity works as its cooperate social responsibility by periodically supporting the Less privileged in society especially the aged and orphanage homes materially and financially.