Outstanding young magnates in Africa used to be few and far between, but not anymore! There is a generation in town that won’t give up or throw in the towel; a generation that is as tenacious as a bulldog.
These young men and women are shaping the future of the continent through innovation, creativity, persistence and sheer hard work; and Ghanaian Michael Nyinaku founder of the BEIGE Group and winner of diverse awards is a change-maker and future global shaper to be reckoned with; an entrepreneur per excellence and a beacon of this new generation.
In a candid interview with JOY FM, Michael shared a journey of the overcoming of obstacles and his eventual triumph.
“My Mum got retrenched at the Bank for Housing and Construction…so she rented a shop at Kantamanto where she sold ice-water and ice-kenkey in bottles. Also, on the side, she was a part-time teacher in a Nursery school in our neighbourhood. There also was a time when she had to go into making polythene bags. That was the time when ice-water was in vogue. She had a machine that we used to make polythene bags. I learnt how to use the machine from the man who came to mount it at our home. I did that as well to support her.”
Despite his mother’s efforts, the financial weight of funding his education proved too heavy, and that meant he had to make a choice;
“…The reason I chose to go to the Institute of Professional Studies at the time was because my financial conditions were not strong enough. I knew my parents couldn’t take care of me for the whole three years I would have spent in the university. So I had to get the kind of education that would give me the opportunity to start work immediately.”
A kind-hearted Mrs Dadzie paid his fees, but he still needed money for his feeding and general well-being; enter Plan B.
“I went round to so many shops, stores, markets both in Makola and Madina, convincing them why they needed me to ‘keep book’ for them. Occasionally, I picked some GH¢50 or GH¢15 from here and there just to keep myself going. That was how I took care of myself through my school days for three years.”
At the age of 19, Michael was the CEO of Prime Consult, his one-man accounting and book keeping firm.
Upon graduation, Michael was employed by Deloitte and Touche- testimony to his proficiency- and after two years, was hired by OIC International; on a bigger and better platform, whilst serving his clientele at Prime Consults concurrently; a hustle and a half, I can imagine.
With his sights set on bigger things, he founded the BEIGE Group in 2008, and at the age of 36, had established 7 successful and independent businesses altogether employing over 2,500 people. The combined asset base of his group’s investment portfolio is in excess of $200m. These wholly-owned Ghanaian companies are in finance, hospitality, mining, real estate and logistics as well as a charity Foundation for orphans and the vulnerable.
BEIGE Capital, his flagship company has become one of the fastest growing savings and loans companies in Ghana. Between 2011 and 2012, the BEIGE Village Golf Resort has also won 5 awards in different categories at the West Africa Tourism Hospitality awards and is regarded as the leading golf resort, spa and conference destination in West Africa.
Other awards include the Male Youth Personality of the year, 2012 – Annual National Youth Awards, the Gold Award for Financial Excellence, 2012 – Annual National Youth Awards, the Best Young Entrepreneur, 2012 – Annual Ghana Entrepreneurship Awards and the Young Professional Role Model in Finance, Excellence & Tourism, 2011 & 2012 – Annual YPYC Awards.
Now a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants [ACCA], the award winning entrepreneur is a notable business leader and highly sought after Speaker on leadership, youth and business development. I daresay that with the advent of Classifieds in Ghana, and other business tools, entrepreneurship has taken on a new dimension.
Michael’s tip for success: “We should be able to set for ourselves crazy goals. I salute the seniors we have had in the past…all of them have done amazing things in the past considering the kind of circumstances they operated in. Now they are handing over to us a platform that we must build upon. If we equal what they have done, we have failed. Our generation is going to compete on a world stage against the Mark Zukerbergs and those other boys. The gap between us and them is so wide that we have to double up. So we have to over-speed.”
Consider setting some ‘crazy’ goals today and be sure to let us know how it worked out!
*Quotes culled from thebeigegroup.com