He is the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Entrepreneurship, Employment and Innovation, a Business Advisory Support Center that helps Startups, Young Entrepreneurs in Business Development, Consulting, Business Financing and Support Services.
His initiative was captured in the 2012 Budget of Ghana and widely acclaimed by the World Bank and other Global Partners. The GCEEI won the Ideas 2012 Award instituted by Legacy and was ranked as part of an entrepreneurial revolution while John Armah was ranked as one of the youngest enterprising youth in the world by the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School, Munich (the Official project of the UN Decade for Sustainable Development) amongst others.
He has also been rated the 27th Most Influential Ghanaian Personality (Ranked by ETV Ghana out of 100 Most Influential Ghanaians) and is the youngest contributor to Ghana’s National Budget.
You chose to make a difference in Africa because…
I have always considered this journey as a calling by God to make a difference in my country and on the continent. Driven by the community I grew up in, my family background(a typical average family), I had to make it a point to accept my fears and dare to make a difference in the lives of others through the experiences I gained in my journey of personal development. I guess the ability and belief in helping others through my failures and successes helped me transition into helping grow Ghana’s Startup ecosystem, supporting Startups and the Youth Leadership frontier.
Most important tip for remaining successful?
A constant trust in God, a willingness to endure and ability to turn setbacks into opportunities have helped a lot in this Journey. Your failures define your next business opportunity. The answer lies within and around you.
If you could change one thing about your life/past, what would it be?
What will I change about my life or past? Nothing! The journey has been the most fulfilling and my experiences over time have helped shape my journey a lot. Ranked as the 27th Most Influential Ghanaian at the age of 22 amongst a list of 100 including names of my past presidents, top executives in Ghana, and the lives we have impacted so far, there is nothing I will change. It has been a humbling experience, except to say my constant prayer is to become better each day.
How do you keep motivated in the face of failure/disappointment?
Disappointments are my motivation, because they always present opportunities on ways to do things better. More, importantly, my belief in God and awareness that He chose me for a reason keeps me motivated. The journey ahead and where I have come from motivates me.
Planning, Strategy, are my best time management tips. Know when to do what and at what times. It is not the number of hours you spend working that matters, it’s what you do within the few hours you have that count, the rest of the hours are for action, brainstorming and new initiatives.
Best way to translate dreams to reality?
ACT! History has shown that those who waited for the perfect times to act always, more often did not get it right. I believe, once you start, everything makes sense, you learn on the journey and you become better. Today it’s easier to get advice when you most need it before you start anything. Key is to plan, be goal-driven, feel the passion, listen to advice when you think it’s most needed, let God guide you and act! If money is your biggest challenge, create a product.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Biggest achievement is the lives we (GCEEI-Ghana Centre for Entrepreneurship, Employment and Innovation) have touched through our products, trained over a 1500 people, supported numerous start-ups in business development, financing, business registration and policy advocacy. The teams I have worked with, the partnerships we have forged, our growing clients, helping to grow Ghana’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, being the Youngest Contributor to Ghana’s Budget, and the 27th Most Influential Ghanaian for 2012. I pioneered Africa’s first Mock African Union Summit and the Africa Youth Economic Forum on the continent. I started a Microfinance Firm which we are looking to formalize in 2014. It’s perhaps what God has done through me from the age of 22.
How do you remain relevant in your industry, year after year?
Constant personal development, branding, a constant assessment of what the market needs and what makes the businesses and lives of our clients and partners better; and the fact that we are the go-to-place when you want to start a business/startup in Ghana. It’s a brand we have carefully thought through and act on to maintain market visibility and an evidence/solution based focused activity.
If you were President for a day…
President for a Day? I will institute a fund as a project under my office to avoid bureaucracy, commit seed money to it and call on the private sector and other well-meaning institutions to contribute to the Fund as a Presidential Initiative to support Startups/Youth Capacity Development et al. Its effects I hope will affect the various sectors of the economy, due to the jobs that will be created, the level of innovation as an add on, and the revenue it will bring in the long term to my government and administration.
Ghana and Africa will truly rise when…
Ghana and Africa will truly rise when African Leaders recognize the vast potential the African Youth holds, when the African Youth recognizes his true potential and when linkages are created by the various stakeholders to mainstream youth issues and all parties take action, be it in personal development or economic development. Ghana and Africa will get better when our people are economically free.
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